Schools join the #HogHappyGarden campaign by participating in a Hedgehog Awareness Poster Competition. Creations went up against the public vote at Itchen Valley Country Park during National Hedgehog Awareness Week 2019 through to the end of May. Results were announced this week and The Mayor of Eastleigh, Cllr Darshan Mann, presented the winners from The Crescent Primary School with their prizes.
"Is your garden Hog Happy?" (#HogHappyGarden) is an Itchen Valley Country Park campaign to support Hedgehog Street, the national partnership between the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and People's Trust for Endangered Species to support the increase of hedgehogs in the UK - "We know hedgehogs are in trouble. We’ve lost a third of all our hedgehogs since the millenium." #HogHappyGarden began in Autumn 2018 and will complete by the end of 2019. Itchen Valley Country Park hosted a Hedgehog Day in 2018 and will be hosting a second on Sunday 6 October.
The Crescent Primary School and Norwood Primary School took park in the competition and over 70 posters were shortlisted by the previous Mayor, Cllr Bruce Tennent, and Rachel Reynolds, resident of The Sorting Office (the town centre's creative space for artists and designers). The competition challenged junior-aged pupils to incorporate Hedgehog Street's Top 10 tips for caring for local 'hogs into eye-popping posters for the Borough to use. The 14 shortlisted creations were then displayed and voted for by the public at Itchen Valley Country Park from the start of National Hedgehog Awareness Week (5-11 May) until the end of May. Over 100 votes were counted, resulting in three winners and three runners up teams - thank you to all the country park visitors who took part in the vote!
Winning teams received hedgehog adoption packs, kindly donated by New Forest Wildlife Park, who have their own resident rescue hedgehogs. They were also invited to a private Q&A just before the 6 October Hedgehog Day officially opens. The Wildlife Park attend the Hedgehog Days to answer questions and show off one or two of their own hedgehogs to educate children and parents to care for their local 'hogs. Runners up teams received a free day parking permit to visit Itchen Valley Country Park with their family and a free ice cream/lolly of their choice.
Posters will be available to download for the Borough to enjoy and snippets of posters will be used across social media to help support the #HogHappyGarden campaign.
Itchen Valley Country Park would like to thank the schools for their support, the pupils for their wonderfully creative posters, New Forest Wildlife Park for their generosity as well as Rachel Reynolds and the Mayors for their time and engagement with the competition.