26th May 2022 at 6:16 pm #37277
Oh, poo – lost my original message with links! 🙁
Basically saying I will lobby local councillor, garden centre re; hedgehog deaths due to garden machinery.
There are already established resources out there. https://www.willowshedgehogrescue.co.uk/willows-hedgehog-rescue-strimmer-campaign.html (see template letter)
Lots more I am sure26th May 2022 at 7:13 pm #37278
Thanks Celeste for the link, very useful information. My local council open spaces team replied to my enquiry about working to make the area more hog friendly, but to be honest their reply was pretty non-committal… “the grounds maintenance team endeavour to protect all wildlife incl hedgehogs” and “leaving other areas of open space to naturalise” However they did say “if we can make some more areas hedgehog friendly we will try to do so”.
I specifically asked in a separate email about strimmer stickers and have not had a reply to that. Watching them work with the strimmers and mowers I can honestly say I don’t believe they stop and check!26th May 2022 at 7:30 pm #37280
Well done starting this Celeste.
BHPS also have a Hedgehog Heroes Roll of Honour for organisations who have agreed to display their Strimmer warning stickers on their machinery:
The following was some information I added to a memorial to a hog who died as a result of strimmer injuries a while back:
Most of you on Hedgehog Street will be aware of the dangers which garden machinery and equipment can cause to hedgehogs. But for those who do not, or who are visitors to Hedgehog Street:
PLEASE take care to check for hedgehogs before using garden equipment. Check over the area gently with a soft broom, hands, or even feet. Hedgehogs natural defence is to roll up. They may not run away.
If you accidentally injure a hedgehog please don’t leave it to suffer. PLEASE Get help for it. Any wound on a hedgehog is likely to, very quickly, become infested with maggots and if left, the hedgehog is likely to die a slow and painful death. Put the injured hedgehog into a box with an old towel or some torn up paper for it to hide in and get help from a local wildlife rescue or a vet as soon as possible.
Other ways to help keep hedgehogs safe in the garden:
-Check compost heaps before using a fork in them
-Do not leave netting where hedgehogs could become entangled
-Make sure there is easy access out of ponds or water containers
-Stop or reduce the amount of chemicals used
-Cover drains or deep holes
-Check there are no hedgehogs hiding underneath, before lighting bonfires
Please warn others of the dangers to hedgehogs.26th May 2022 at 7:33 pm #37281
Information leaflet from BHPS: https://www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk/gardening-with-hedgehogs/26th May 2022 at 7:36 pm #3728226th May 2022 at 7:47 pm #37283
Willows Hedgehog Rescue also have a good poster:26th May 2022 at 7:52 pm #37284
p.s. Celeste. The Forum doesn’t like more than one link per post, which may be why you lost your original message – something to do with the Captcha thing, I think. So if you want to add more than one link, it’s safer to use separate posts for each link, as I’ve done above.27th May 2022 at 5:58 pm #37294
Thank you Nic and Seagull Suzie for the links and useful information.
I understand I am trying to reinvent the wheel here; I’m know many folk have also already contacted local council, garden centre etc etc etc
It was Nic’s reply in another thread re: hedgehog injured by strimmer that turned my thoughts to action. I was thinking why isn’t there a warning on strimmers? And then – why don’t I DO something instead of just thinking???
Dylan Allman (hedgehog champion) already has. “Hyundai Power Products have agreed that every lawnmower and strimmer will be sold with a ‘Be Hedgehog Aware’ sticker on it.
So, I will contact/write/spread the message re: hedgehog awareness as my ‘project’ this summer.
Hopefully there will be some positive feedback to report in due course 🙂27th May 2022 at 6:12 pm #37295
It’s absolutely brilliant Celeste, that you and SeagullSuzie are taking action on this. It’s exactly what is needed. There are so many people that use strimmers, etc. and nowhere near all of them seem to have heard the message yet. I’m sure it just doesn’t even occur to some people that what they might consider ‘innocent strimming’ might be harming hogs and other wildlife and that just taking a few precautions could make a big difference. But maybe knowing that all those other oganisations have agreed to display labels, etc. will encourage others to join in.
So keep up the good work and good luck.31st May 2022 at 3:58 pm #37319
Apologies SeagullSuzie – didn’t mean to cross post with you 🙁 (What Did You Do For Hedgehog Awareness Week) Speaking nicely to one of the groundworks team in person is brilliant. Maybe you could offer a packet of biscuits as a bribe (sorry – goodwill gesture!) to reinforce the message 🙂
Quick update from me. Too soon for replies but have written to county, district and town councils. We have a very supportive town councillor so as well as the strimmer plea also enlarged on the need for hedgehog highways etc. in our small market town (as everywhere – new housing estates springing up.)
I have also emailed several strimmer manufacturers to suggest ”warning’ stickers. Next step will be to approach local garden centres to ask if they will display posters on notice board.
I don’t do social media but maybe this is another good way to communicate the message instantly in a modern world?
Sorry to finish on a sad note but here is a poem from the old world of over 40 years ago; ‘The Mower’ by Philip Larkin – still relevant, still with the pain of loss; we need the ‘kind’ more than ever now.
The mower stalled, twice; kneeling, I found
A hedgehog jammed up against the blades,
Killed. It had been in the long grass.
I had seen it before, and even fed it, once.
Now I had mauled its unobtrusive world
Unmendably. Burial was no help:
Next morning I got up and it did not.
The first day after a death, the new absence
Is always the same; we should be careful
Of each other, we should be kind
While there is still time.31st May 2022 at 6:43 pm #37320
Thanks for posting that poem, Celeste. The only difference is that there are even less hogs left now. But real feeling in that poem.
Have you read Pam Ayres ‘The Last Hedgehog’ (book available from BHPS shop). Also sad, but with a touch of ironic humour – but puts the message over well.
Well done for all the efforts you have made. I hope you get some helpful replies.4th June 2022 at 11:34 am #37334
Oh Celeste, that’s a beautiful poem, thanks for sharing it. Good news about approaching my ‘open spaces maintenance team’. They came to cut the grass last week and I went out to have a chat. They were so nice. Turns out they love hedgehogs and do use the strimmers and mowers with care. They showed me how when strimming they strim one sided (instead of in front blindly swinging it from side to side) and lean over so they can see what they are approaching-hope that description makes sense! So I told them we have an active population here and they said they’d be extra careful. So a great result, definitely biscuits for them next time 🙂5th June 2022 at 4:47 pm #37338
Fantastic Seagull Suzie! Well done you 🙂 That is such a positive result. It must have felt wonderful to be talking to someone who listened and understood.
Still awaiting replies from my letters/emails but will try to follow your shining example and chat with the groundworks team when they are next in the area.
Chocolate Hobnobs all round?23rd July 2022 at 4:52 pm #38606
An update on strimmer awareness;
1) emailed several manufacturers. Mostly positive replies; there had been a blog, leaflets with hedgehog care/awareness. Makita have a hedgehog icon on the strimmer instruction leaflet with ‘check before you strim and cut.’
Interestingly just came across this petition to sign
(Bristol area but addressed to ten garden equipment manufacturers.)
2) No reply to my letters to district and county councils. The reply from the town councillor was very positive, as to hedgehog highways/planning on the new housing estate and hedgehog awareness for the local groundworks teams.
3) The local garden centre has an extensive bird/wildlife section. Had a chat with the chap in charge. He is extremely knowledgeable (he has many birds and hedgehogs visiting his own garden.) He is great to talk to, friendly, helpful and an avid protector of wildlife. He was obviously engaging with customers, spreading the ‘be aware of hedgehog’ message.
In conclusion, I feel I have done a little something to try to raise awareness – in memory of the two dead hogs I found outside the back boundary of my garden.
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