Jan 21, 2021 —
I just walked down the garden to my shed/office and stepped on paving stone that, unbeknownst to me, was floating in a very muddy puddle. As you can imagine, my trousers are now spattered!
So, it is a bit wet to be doing anything in the garden right now. But that does not mean there is nothing we can do to help hedgehogs. This update is a call to action - a series of four things we can all do that WILL really help.
- Share this petition! Please. We have stalled just short of a million and it would mean so much more when approaching government ministers and the directors of development companies to say we had reached that figure. My ask - to send this petition to ten of your contacts - friends, family - with a short note asking them to sign and share. If just 4% of those who have already signed got ONE new signature ... we would be there!
- Become a champion! The Hedgehog Street campaign is wonderful - I help run it, so I am biased ... but objectively - we manage to get the message out far and wide thanks to a brilliant team. It is free, but gives you the chance to become part of an online forum that is really making a difference. Nearly 90,000 people have joined. And ... this year is our 10th birthday - so maybe we will get to 100,000! More on that soon (in fact I am writing a feature about what we have achieved for the amazing BBC Wildlife Magazine to come out in early May - in time for Hedgehog Awareness Week).
- Join the conversation! It soon became apparent that I would not be able to answer all the questions that line up beneath each update. There are so many responses and reactions - and no mechanism for a conversation. So I set up the Hedgehog Highways Facebook group - which now has over 16,000 members. It is a great forum to ask questions, share ideas, and get inspiration for ways to help hedgehogs. I cannot thank Rose and Jacqueline enough for their work moderating the group. It is crucial that they keep this eye on things and not let trouble brew.
- Sign this! Another petition - I know - I have asked before and I will ask again. The ask is simple (well, actually, it is not when you dig down into the detail, but the first ask is straightforward!) - increase the level of protection offered to the hedgehog within the Wildlife and Countryside Act. We have over 71,000 signatures. When we get to 100,000 we force a debate in parliament.
This is going to be a busy year for hedgehog lovers and campaigners. As (hopefully) the virus and brexit recede from the news we have a chance to push on with this campaign. We have the 10th birthday of the Hedgehog Street campaign, we have a major research being published, we have developers beginning to take hedgehogs seriously - and most importantly - we have nearly a million of you who have shown that you care and are willing to take action.
And now, to go and change my trousers ... and bed that paving stone into the path a little better!
Photo is of a wonderful piece of graffiti I spotted in East London a few years ago - I think it has since been covered up ....
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