A Hedgehog Street inspired garden at RHS Harlow Carr, Harrogate, North Yorkshire will be unveiled for the first time today [Tuesday 25 April 2017], by wildlife charities People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS), who have successfully coordinated the Hedgehog Street campaign since 2011, and work tirelessly to conserve the UK’s native hedgehogs.
Created by award-winning garden designer Tracy Foster, this new, permanent Hedgehog Street garden showcases a smorgasbord of hedgehog-friendly features designed to encourage visitors to RHS Harlow Carr to make the green spaces on their doorsteps a haven for these prickly creatures. The garden is made up of a series of individually themed gardens; one contemporary; one rustic; and one Mediterranean. The garden’s hedgehog-friendly aspects include nesting sites and Hedgehog Highways, providing access to neighbouring gardens, safe water features, planting and vegetation, to not only encourage hedgehogs, but also other wildlife and prey.
Henry Johnson, Hedgehog Officer for Hedgehog Street says: “We have been working on this new Hedgehog Street garden for 21 months, so it’s really exciting to be able to finally share the garden with the public. It’s been a pleasure to work with Tracy Foster again and the RHS Harlow Carr team – with their combined skills we have been able to push hedgehog-friendly garden design into new areas. We hope that thousands of people come and enjoy the garden, learn about declining hedgehog numbers, and feel empowered about the stylish things they can do to help wildlife back home.”
The State of Britain’s Hedgehogs 2015 report, produced by BHPS and PTES, revealed that hedgehog populations have declined by at least half in rural areas and by up to a third in urban areas since the year 2000. Since the creation of Hedgehog Street over 43,000 people across the UK have become ‘Hedgehog Champions’. This army of citizen scientists have pledged to help combat the shocking decline of Britain’s native hedgehog (voted the UK’s favourite mammal in a 2016 poll) by making simple changes in their own gardens, such as increase connectivity with neighbouring gardens, to improve hedgehogs’ access to food, shelter and mates.
In addition to running this successful citizen science initiative, BHPS and PTES also fund several academic research projects with partner universities to determine the factors most influencing the fall in hedgehog population numbers, and run campaigns to raise awareness about this native species, such as BHPS’ forthcoming Hedgehog Awareness Week [30 April – 6 May 2017].
RHS Garden Harlow Carr Curator, Paul Cook said: ”Hedgehog Street has been an instant hit with visitors who seem to like the scale of the showcase gardens as well as the range of styles. There are a whole host of ideas that people can take home and replicate in their own gardens, and do their bit to help our prickly pals.”
The creation of this Hedgehog Street garden in Yorkshire follows the success of the Hedgehog Street garden built for the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2014, which won both a Gold Medal and the People’s Choice Award in the Summer Garden category and was also designed by Tracy Foster. The Hedgehog Street garden at the RHS’ most northerly garden is based upon a similar design brief to its 2014 predecessor, intended to not only bring delight to RHS Harlow Carr’s 400,000 annual human visitors, but also welcoming their smaller visitors too.
Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire said: “It’s great that this important campaign is being highlighted in Yorkshire in such a delightful way. Tracy’s wonderful designs at RHS Harlow Carr are packed full of ideas showing us all how we can make our gardens more hedgehog friendly. I’m sure visitors will be inspired to take action and help halt the decline we’re seeing in the species.”
For more information on how you can help hedgehogs, visit: www.hedgehogstreet.org
– ENDS –
For further information, interview requests, or images please call Adela Cragg or Jane Bevan at Firebird PR:
Notes to Editors
Available for interview at the launch
• Henry Johnson, Hedgehog Officer, Hedgehog Street
• Fay Vass, CEO, British Hedgehog Preservation Society
• Tracy Foster, Garden Designer
• Paul Cook, Curator, RHS Harlow Carr
• PTES, a UK conservation charity created in 1977, is ensuring a future for endangered species throughout the world. We protect some of our most threatened wildlife species and habitats, and provide practical conservation support through research, grant-aid, educational programmes, wildlife surveys, publications and public events. Our current priority species and habitats include hazel dormice, hedgehogs, water voles, noble chafers, stag beetles, traditional orchards and native woodlands.
• If you want to support PTES’ ongoing conservation work, you can donate £3 by texting ‘PTES17 £3’ to 70070.
• Visit www.ptes.org for more information, or follow PTES on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ptes) and Twitter (@PTES).
• BHPS is a UK charity founded in 1982 dedicated to helping & protecting hedgehogs native to the UK. They run a helpline offering advice on caring for & encouraging hedgehogs in the wild and in gardens. They aim to educate the public on how best to help hedgehogs and fund research into the behavioural habits of hedgehogs to ascertain the best methods of assisting their survival.
• Visit www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk for more information, or follow BHPS on Facebook (www.facebook.com/hedgehogsociety) or Twitter (@hedgehogsociety)
About Hedgehog Street
• Wildlife charities PTES and BHPS launched Hedgehog Street in June 2011 to encourage hedgehog conservation action at a local community or neighbourhood level. Over 43,000 volunteer “Hedgehog Champions” up and down the country have registered to help to date and the campaign is ongoing, but we still need your help to make a difference.
• The charities’ Hedgehog Street garden won Gold at the 2014 RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show and People’s Choice Award in the summer garden category.
• Visit www.hedgehogstreet.org for more information.
• To see photos of our award-winning garden at RHS Hampton Court, visit www.hedgehogstreet.org/hamptoncourt
• The State of Britain’s Hedgehogs 2015 followed the first comprehensive review of the status of hedgehogs nationally in 2011. Since this first report, several ongoing surveys, by PTES and others, have shown a continuing population decline. The State of Britain’s Hedgehogs 2015, publicised at a special UK summit on hedgehogs, paints a stark picture: since 2000, records of the species have declined at least half in rural areas and by up to a third in urban ones.
• An independent study (The State of Britain’s Hedgehogs) commissioned by PTES and BHPS from the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) in September 2010 established, for the first time, clear scientific evidence of the decline in hedgehog populations across the UK. In 2013, PTES also published a long-term trend analysis based on their Living with Mammals and Mammals on Roads surveys which showed that hedgehog populations have plummeted by over a third in the last ten years.
• The reasons for the decline in UK hedgehog numbers are complex, but are thought to be associated with the loss of hedgerows and permanent grasslands; the intensification of agriculture and larger field sizes; and the use of pesticides which reduce the amount of prey available. Urban and suburban areas are becoming increasingly important for hedgehogs, but the move towards tidy, sterile gardens isolated from one another by impermeable boundaries has also contributed to their demise.
• A range of academic research projects, funded by PTES and BHPS, also aim to further scientific understanding about the causes for the decline in hedgehog numbers and most importantly what can be done to reverse this threat to this iconic species.
• The hedgehog was voted as Britain’s National Species in a 2013 BBC Wildlife poll and Britain’s Favourite Mammal in the 2016 Royal Society of Biology poll.