Grace the Hedgehog steps out in West End September 2018
The Amazing Grace campaign to make Surrey Heath, Britain’s first ‘Hedgehog Friendly’ Borough took to the stage in West End last weekend.
West End village is surrounded by stunning native heathland with the Chobham Common, National Nature Reserve and West End Common SSSI surrounding the built environment. Around 1600 people came to the Hare & Hounds Public house to find out how they can help save Britain’s hedgehogs that are in serious decline.
Anne Brummer, Trustee of Harper Asprey Wildlife Rescue that runs the Amazing Grace campaign said: “When did you last see a Hedgehog? - Many people say they haven’t seen one in the last few years but for the younger generation - they may never have seen one”
“That was the starting point for the campaign. At Harper Asprey we care for hundreds of hedgehogs every year before releasing them back to the wild. They could be sick, injured or orphaned but having given them the best possible care we want to ensure the local habitat is capable of sustaining them for the future”
We have developed Grace’s 5 point charter to encourage everyone to take these five simple steps in their own gardens - it doesn’t matter how big or how small your garden is there is always something you can do to encourage wildlife to your space”
Queen Founder Member, Brian May, whose Save Me Trust wildlife charity is supporting the Amazing Grace campaign along with the British Hedgehog Preservation Society said: “This iconic British species is in severe decline, it is incredible to think they could be facing extinction unless we help them” That’s why we are encouraging everyone to do something for Hedgehogs and Grace’s five point charter is the best place to start”
After the Grace Day Community fun day, the real works starts. You can ask for a Hedgehog Officer to visit your garden and advise you on the things you could do to make your garden a happy home for hedgehogs. Everyone is encouraged to work with their neighbours and link their gardens, providing access for Grace and her spiky friends who can travel over 2km a night in search of food.
You can also survey your garden for hedgehogs with survey tunnels and all the equipment you need available for hire or sale via Harper Asprey Wildlife Rescue. You simply set a tunnel in your garden for five consecutive nights and record footprints. Survey tunnels are a very reliable indicator of what small mammals may be visiting your garden after dark.
Anne Brummer continued: “Surveys can be great fun and all the family can get involved” “The best thing is you will be helping hedgehogs and wildlife and when you encourage your neighbours to get involved you will be creating little highways that will make your garden attractive and accessible to Hedgehogs”
Amazing Grace campaign made their home village of Windlesham Surrey’s first Hedgehog Friendly village last year and have since worked in five other areas of Surrey Heath. If they haven’t been to your area yet keep your eyes open for Grace the hedgehog’s flier through your door or follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can also visit her website: www.gracethehedeghog.co.uk and sign up for her newsletter that will keep you updated with all the news from the Grace and her friends.