Hedgehog highway scheme
One of the main reasons that hedgehogs are declining in the UK is because fences and walls are becoming more and more secure, reducing the amount of land available to them to forage, hibernate and breed.
West Oxfordshire District Council are encouraging residents across the district to create ‘Hedgehog Highways’ or a network of holes in fences large enough for hedgehogs to travel though. This will begin to remove barriers to hedgehog movement and increase the range of this declining species across urban landscapes.
If you are a resident of West Oxfordshire, then we are offering free Hedgehog Highway signs to residents who send us a picture of a newly created hedgehog hole in their garden. These signs are laser cut from recycled plastic with pre-drilled holes to pin it in place, and can be mounted above your hedgehog hole as a reminder to keep the hole open for your prickly neighbours.
To claim your free Hedgehog Highway sign:
- Create a hole in any of your boundary fences – this should ideally be around 13cm x 13cm to allow a hedgehog to pass through. Make a hole by;
- Cutting or drilling out a hole in a wooden fence.
- Removing a brick from the bottom of the wall.
- Digging a channel under your wall, fence or gate.
The holes are best created next to some vegetation where hedgehogs will feel safest to scuttle through. If you can create a hole on either side of your garden, even better.
- Take a picture of your hedgehog hole and send it across to our team at Climate.Action@westoxon.gov.uk
- Our team will take a look at your hedgehog hole, give you any tips on making your hole even better if needed, and will then be able to post out your free Hedgehog Highway sign.
Only one sign will be provided per household. The signs will be sent out on a first come, first served basis.
All of the new Hedgehog Highway locations will be compiled and mapped at the end of the project, so you can see where the new hedgehog holes have been created and the positive landscape-scape impact had for these mammals.
If you would like to create a hedgehog hole where you share a garden boundary with a neighbour, please ask their permission first before making any holes. We have a template letter below if you would like to put something through their letterbox that gives details about the scheme and why it’s important to connect up gardens for hedgehogs.
Some resources around our Hedgehog Highways scheme can be found below;