Andover housebuilder David Wilson Homes is offering wildlife in the area a brand new home with a pledge to install hedgehog shelters at its new developments.
The plans to have hogitats at new developments come as the housebuilding industry marks New Homes Week (May 16-22) and sales director Rob Allen said this was an ideal opportunity extend its five star commitment to the local wildlife.
The five star housebuilder has a long term pledge to create more wildlife friendly developments to give nature a new home and Rob said the hedgehog shelters are an integral part of this mission.
“We will be installing these new shelters in areas of open space or around our show homes and hope that the hedgehogs will enjoy their new homes,’’ said Rob.
The move has been welcomed by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, which offers help and advice to those with sick, injured or orphaned hedgehogs.
Chief executive Fay Vass said: “We are delighted to hear that David Wilson Homes is offering these shelters for hedgehogs. Hedgehog numbers are in severe decline so we welcome any action to help them from both the public and businesses alike.”
David Wilson Homes has also issued a five star plan based on advice from experts at the British Hedgehog Preservation Society for anyone looking to help hedgehogs in their own garden:
1 Create a haven for your garden hedgehog. A hogitat provides a dry, safe home but even a board against a fence will be a welcome retreat for your night time visitor. Find plans at www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk
2 Cover drains and holes as a hedgehog may fall in, and ensure there is an escape route in ponds. Always check for hedgehogs before using strimmers or mowers, particularly under hedges where animals may rest.
3 Don’t touch a hedgehog unless you think it is injured. If you do have to pick up a hedgehog, make sure you wear suitable gardening gloves or use a folded towel.
4 Put out fresh water for hedgehogs in the garden but don’t feed them milk. They are intolerant of the lactose in milk which can lead to diarrhoea, dehydration and death. Tinned meaty cat or dog food and even dry cat or dog food is a useful addition to a hedgehog’s diet.
5 Hedgehogs are generally nocturnal creatures so if you do see one in the daytime, it’s likely that it’s injured or sick. Contact the British Hedgehog Preservation Society on 01584 890 801 for advice and local contacts.
The British Hedgehog Preservation Society runs a project called Hedgehog Street with People’s Trust for Endangered Species. For more tips on helping hedgehogs see the project website at www.hedgehogstreet.org