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Press release: RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show puts Hedgehog Street on the Map

Hedgehog-friendly garden selected for international horticultural show 8-13 July 2014

The British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) and People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) are pleased to announce that their joint submission for a hedgehog-friendly garden has been selected as one of this year’s summer gardens at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.  The charities’ summer garden, called Hedgehog Street, aims to raise awareness of the plight of threatened hedgehogs and show how gardeners can help the species in their very own back yard.

Created by award-winning garden designer Tracy Foster, the garden will feature various elements that are beneficial to our native hedgehogs.  Hedgehog populations in the UK have plummeted by over a third in the last ten years, and one of the factors contributing to this decline is tidy, fenced-in gardens.

Fay Vass, Chief Executive of BHPS explains: “The decline of hedgehogs can be attributed to a number of environmental factors, including neat and tidy gardens that are isolated from one another by fences or walls, preventing hedgehogs from finding shelter, food and mates.  The average range for a hedgehog in an urban area covers about 500 gardens, so we need people to help these iconic creatures by joining up their gardens.”

One of the simplest steps gardeners can take to help hedgehogs is to link gardens in their neighbourhood by teaming up with their neighbours to make a small hole in shared boundaries so that the creatures can roam freely.  A hole that is 13cm2 in size at ground level will be big enough for a hedgehog to pass through.

Jill Nelson, Chief Executive of PTES said: “The hedgehog is known as the ‘gardener’s friend’ and by creating a summer garden at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show we hope to prove to professional and amateur gardeners-alike that it is easy and inexpensive to create a hedgehog-friendly space, no matter what type of garden you have, whether modern and contemporary or wild and rustic.”

For more information about Hedgehog Street and how to help hedgehogs in your garden and neighbourhood, visit: www.hedgehogstreet.org

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MEDIA CONTACTS 

Jane Bevan or Susannah Penn at Firebird PR on 01235 835297 / 07977 459547 or via email to sp@firebirdpr.co.uk

AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEW

Jill Nelson, CEO, People’s Trust for Endangered Species
Henry Johnson, Hedgehog Officer, People’s Trust for Endangered Species
Fay Vass, CEO, British Hedgehog Preservation Society
Hugh Warwick, Communication Officer, British Hedgehog Preservation Society
Tracy Foster, Designer, Tracy Foster Garden Design
Hedgehog Champions – we have a number of volunteers from the public who would be happy to speak with the media about their involvement in Hedgehog Street
IMAGES

High resolution images of hedgehogs are available upon request.

NOTES TO EDITORS

·        Wildlife charities PTES and BHPS launched Hedgehog Street in June 2011 to encourage hedgehog conservation action at a local community or neighbourhood level.  Nearly 30,000 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.

·        A long-term trend analysis by PTES based on their Living with Mammals and Mammals on Roads surveys shows 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 public can view the Hedgehog Street summer garden at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show from 8-13 July 2014.  Tickets for the Show are available to buy at: www.rhs.org.uk

·        The hedgehog was voted as Britain’s National Species in a 2013 BBC Wildlife poll.

About PTES

PTES is a UK conservation charity created in 1977 to ensure a future for endangered species throughout the world. Working to protect some of our most threatened wildlife species and habitats, it provides practical conservation support through research, grant-aid and educational programmes, including wildlife surveys, publications and public events.

About BHPS – www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk

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.
About Tracy Foster Garden Design – www.tracyfostergardendesign.co.uk

Tracy Foster is a Chelsea Gold Medal-winning garden designer who has been creating beautiful gardens since 2002.

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