Maldon Cemetery in bid to protect its hedgehogs

  Posted: 08.10.21 at 12:24 by Charlotte Lillywhite

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Maldon District Council’s cemetery team has signed up to a national campaign to help protect its hedgehogs, after finding evidence of them living in the cemetery.

Members of the team have signed up to the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) to become “Hog Heroes”, and are displaying stickers on their grass-cutting machinery to remind them to look out for our prickly friends, who will begin hibernating soon.

Founded in 1982, BHPS’ campaigns, advocacy and educational projects help to raise awareness of the practical steps we can take to help reverse the decline of hedgehogs in the wild, improve their welfare and safeguard their future.

Councillor Wendy Stamp, leader of the district council, said: “I am pleased that we have signed up to support the British Hedgehog Preservation Society in their awareness campaign.

“As hedgehogs head into hibernation, please be mindful of our little friends this November if you are celebrating bonfire night, and always check for who might be taking up camp.”

Between November and the end of March, when food is scarce, hedgehogs hibernate to conserve energy and remain largely inactive.

The council has been placing hedgehog homes and feeding stations in quiet areas of the cemetery, and hopes to monitor their activity and encourage more to take up residents.

Hedgehogs also love gardens - Debbie Horney, the cemeteries and bereavement services senior coordinator, recently found a juvenile hedgehog in her own garden.

With some advice from Matt Wilson, the council’s countryside and coast manager, Debbie fed and watered the hedgehog before taking him to be cared for at an animal sanctuary until he grows bigger.

Autumn juvenile hedgehogs are old enough to be away from their mothers but too small to hibernate.

The autumn juvenile season can start as early as September and is busy through to the end of November.

The juvenile hedgehog that Debbie Horney recently found in her garden

You can find out more from the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) using the link here.

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