Countryside team marks Hedgehog Awareness Week by creating homes for wildlife

Bug Hotels are installed by volunteers and the Countryside team in Exmouth and Honiton

Sunday 30 April to Saturday 6 May marks Hedgehog Awareness Week, a week organised by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society which aims to raise the profile of hedgehogs.

Hedgehog numbers are in decline due to a reduction in the area of suitable habitat and food sources. The East Devon District Council Countryside team have been working with local people to help encourage more wildlife into gardens and nature reserves in East Devon.

The team worked in partnership with the Community Development team and local residents in Exmouth to install a Bug Hotel. Bug Hotels encourage invertebrates and insects, which are a good source of food for hedgehogs, these structures can also be used as a home for nesting hedgehogs.

The team have also worked with volunteers at Honiton Bottom Community Nature Reserve to install a Bug Hotel in the nature reserve and continue to maintain Bug Hotels in the wildlife garden at Seaton Wetlands. The East Devon Conservation Volunteers have also created log and brash brash piles in Holyford Woods, to create suitable habitat for hedgehogs.

Countryside Trainee ranger, Laura Goble said:

Hedgehogs are one of Britain’s most loved animals, and it is great to have worked with residents in Exmouth and volunteers in Honiton to help people encourage more wildlife into their local areas. Bug hotels are a simple and low cost way to create habitats in your garden and we hope lots of people will be inspired to do the same in their own gardens.

Alongside community events the Countryside team have put stickers on their machinery, reminding users to only strim where necessary and to check the area they are working on for hedgehogs before starting machinery.

During Hedgehog Awareness Week the Countryside team will be attending community events including Bluebell Day on Monday 1 May at Holyford Woods and a Spring Flower Walk on Saturday 6 May at Cranbrook, at these events the team will share their knowledge on how you can help encourage more wildlife into your garden.

You can find out more about the Countryside team’s volunteering opportunities and events online at wildeastdevon.co.uk. For further information the team can be contacted via email: countryside@eastdevon.gov.uk or by calling: 01395 517557.