Wild Maidenhead launches new project helping hedgehogs

An environmental group in Maidenhead has launched a new project helping hedgehogs in the area.

The project by Wild Maidenhead encourages residents to link their gardens and natural spaces with a small access hole for hedgehogs in the boundaries.

The initiative has been funded by water, waste, and resource management company SUEZ.

Hedgehogs have now been listed as ‘vulnerable to extinction’ in Britain’s red list for mammals and are the focus of ‘significant conservation efforts’.

Many Hedgehog Street Champions have already come forward, ready to aid residents with creating hedgehog highways to have animals travel across Maidenhead without boundaries.

Leaflets are being distributed in various streets, including the Ray Mill Road area, Oaken Grove, Halifax Road, Lancaster Road, the Rutland Road area, Switchbank Road East, Braywick Road, Shoppenhangers Road, Rushington Avenue, Larchfield, and Cranbrook Drive.

If a hedgehog highway is made, Wild Maidenhead, which is working with The Berkshire Mammal Group, will provide a tracking camera or footprint tunnels on loan to residents who are interested, to monitor if the highway is being used.

Rachel Cook, project lead for Wild Maidenhead, said: “Reassuringly, helping Maidenhead’s hedgehogs is easy.

“What is key is that they need access to lots and lots of gardens – more than just a street or large park.

“They roam between 1-2km each night during their active season.”

There are many ways residents can help hedgehogs, including: linking the garden, creating a wild corner, making their pond safe, putting out food and water, dealing with litter and netting, stopping the use of chemicals, checking before strimming, creating a home for hedgehogs, and being careful with bonfires.

Being cautious about letting dogs out into the garden at dusk and helping injured hedgehogs by taking them to Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital are also ways residents can help.

Those interested in creating a hedgehog highway and becoming a hedgehog champion for their street can contact Wild Maidenhead at:wildmaidenheadhedgehoghighways@gmail.com

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