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East Lancashire residents called on to give hedgehogs a helping hand
HEDGEHOG campaigners and rescuers have called on residents to do more to help the dramatically dwindling population.
Experts from the Lancashire Wildlife Trust and Lancashire Hedgehog Care said that numbers had dropped by around 80 per cent during the past 30 years due to human activity which has led to a drastic loss of habitats and increased deadly hazards.
The news comes after the People’s Trust for Endangered Species said that there had been a 30 per cent national drop in the species during the past 10 years alone, leaving fewer than 1million hedgehogs left in the wild.
While the decline is believed to be most severe in the south, Lancashire Wildlife Trust spokesman Alan Wright said that the destruction of hedgerows due to farming and developments had wiped out a lot of their natural habitats.
He said: “Hedgehogs are one of the most endangered mammals in Lancashire, along with water voles.
“Farming as well as increased road traffic and abuse by members of the public have led to increased deaths.
“Hedgehogs are important pest controllers and should be encouraged into gardens. Whilst we are attempting to make the county’s reserves more hedgehog friendly by ensuring suitable habitats, residents can help by letting a corner of their garden grow wild.”
Lancashire Hedgehog Care Centre founder Janis Dean said she had dealt with an increasing number of injured and dead hedgehogs.
She said: “Changes in people’s gardens in recent years have proved harmful to hedgehogs. Garden ponds can kill hedgehogs who can easily fall into them when trying to have a drink if a shallow end or ramped entrance is not included.
“Strimmers, slug poison and dogs also prove deadly while feeding them milk and bread can make them really ill.
To help monitor hedgehogs visit www.hedgehogstreet.org
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