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Featured Project – The Hedgehog Friendly Town – Kyra and Sophie

Raising awareness is challenging and takes time, but for these two 14 years old girls nothing stands in their way! Their love for hedgehogs has inspired so many and have saved the lives of hundreds of these adorable spiky creatures! This is how Kyra and Sophie turned their town hedgehog friendly:

–  We each set up rehabiliation centres and between us have helped nearly 400 hedgehogs.  We have learnt how to analyse their waste and with Vets help work out the correct medications to give them along with the symptoms and treatments of lots of other ailments.

– We started by writing some letters and encouraging local homes to put hedgehog highways into their garden boundaries.

– We have been lucky enough to have delivered over 50 workshops/talks to a range of both adults and children, making them fun, including games, songs, interactive stories, and craft activities. We have attended over 15 open days/ fairs. Taking along games, challenges and crafts. We document our work on social media to help raise             awareness to as many people as possible.

  • From seeing how many come in with injuries caused by rubbish we joined a local rubbish picking group and have been out on over 15 picks. We have teamed up with “rubbish friends” and often go on talks together. It works well to show the bigger impact dropping litter has.
  • We made a video to raise awareness of how netting could be trapping hedgehogs and other ground dwelling animals. We arranged meeting with Taylor Wimpy Developments to find a solution.They listened to us and agreed to put our ideas in place.  They are fitting tunnels in the netting to allow animals to escape and will be adding hedgehog friendly features into their housing development.
  • After having Hedgehogs come into our centres with terrible injuries caused by these machines we wanted to try and raise awareness. We set up a display in our local hardware store next to the machines with info on how they can check first and who to call if they find a hedgehog that needs help. This was then shared and other stores followed suit.
  • Hedgehogs can swim very well but can’t get out of ponds or pools with steep sides. We met up with the local park ranger that told us that last year he had fished out 1 or 2 hedgehogs from the pool each week throughout the summer.  We arranged for a ramp to be made to fit the pool and the Ranger puts it in and out every day.   Since then there have been no casualities.
  • After caring for 4 hoglets rescued from a local school we realised the impact of getting the whole school involved. With children learning how they can make small changes that really make a huge difference. We have written a set of challenges designed for schools to complete with their students. They are written in a way so any age can complete them and so far are proving popular. We are trying to get some funding so we can provide footprint tunnels and trial camera for all the local schools.
  • Many children, adults and families have got involved either by bringing us poorly hedgehogs, help to raise money for food or fostering hedgehogs for us. This winter we have had over 30 hedgehogs out with foster carers. This frees up cages so we can help more that are in need of more intensive care.  Having to care for a wild animal to prepare it for release helps children to love and respect our wildlife and environment.
  • We have meetings set up with an ecologist to learn all about how they work especially in regards to checking areas before builders can build. We had such success with one building development company that we are now in meetings with others in our town to help them make their developments more wildlife friendly.
  • We have been lucky enough to get into some national papers. The Times, Independent, Mail and the Sun. We were interviewed by Holly & Phil on This Morning and were featured on channel 5 Saving Britain’s Hedgehogs. It’s been such an exciting time and so wonderful to be able to raise awareness on such a massive scale.

Meeting Dr Jane at the Roots & Shoots Awards and winning a Prize was wonderful and we are looking forward to visiting KEW Gardens this Summer.

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