In spring 2019 we teamed up with HedgeOx to help support hedgehogs in West Oxford and beyond.
Our first action: to send a letter to all Oxfordshire’s fencing companies – read it here: HedgeOx LCWO letter to Oxfordshire fencing companies March 2019.
We gave them the chance to join the HedgeOx Hog Hole Roll of Honour by actively encouraging their customers to make their fencing hedgehog-friendly.
Why? Hedgehogs are currently in severe decline right across the UK, with a third of the population lost since the year 2000 in urban areas and even more in the countryside. Development, and specifically fencing, is thought to be a key driver of the decline. But new developments could actually be beneficial to our declining hedgehogs, if their design takes them into consideration. It’s a huge opportunity.
Our ask: We asked fencing companies to take some or all of the following hedgehog-friendly actions:
- Promote fencing with pre-cut hedgehog holes (13x13cm) to all new customers;
- Offer of a free or low-cost service to create a hole in a new fence during installation, with an additional offer to create holes in any other existing fences on the property;
- Access to a fence cutter for making the hedgehog hole, for customers to borrow and use themselves;
- Hosting of a leaflet at your main point of customer contact outlining the need for fence holes and explaining how people can do it, with links to other simple actions they can take to support hedgehogs in Oxfordshire;
- Promotion and stocking of green ‘hedgehog highway’ signs.
The letters were sent to 29 companies, with a deadline of May 1st for responses, and we got a response from ONE. Whilst this is evidently not a success in terms of creating a list of hog-friendly fencers, we hope that receiving such a letter might contribute to more awareness of the need to support hedgehogs.
How you can help:
- if you are thinking of getting a new fence, ask any company you approach what action they are taking to support hedgehogs (and ask if they received our letter in spring 2019… might jog their memory!)
- write your own letter to your favourite fencer
- make holes in your existing fencing – find out more here: “Hedgehog holes in your garden can help the species thrive” (HedgeOx’s Hugh Warwick in The Oxford Times, February 2019)
- Sign Hugh’s petition on Change.org, ‘Help save Britain’s hedgehogs with ‘hedgehog highways’!’ www.change.org/p/help-save-britain-s-hedgehogs-with-hedgehog-highways
- tell your friends about hogs and what they need…