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Bromley must do more to save hedgehogs - RSPB

PUBLISHED: 07:00 29 April 2019

More needs to be done to save the hedgehog. Picture: Ben Andrews

More needs to be done to save the hedgehog. Picture: Ben Andrews

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A campaign to save Britain's favourite mammal, the hedgehog, has been renewed in Bromley.

The RSPB says the creatures are disappearing from our towns and countryside.

A recent survey discovered numbers have halved since 2000 and it is not just hedgehogs that are in trouble.

The charity said since 1966, the UK has lost more than 40 million birds and time is running out to save the rest.

The RSPB believes the reasons are clear – the countryside has been drastically changed.

Copses, hedges, wildflowers and ponds have been removed to make room for ever larger fields sown with one crop, which may be treated with harmful pesticides, said the RSPB Bromley Local Group.

Local RSPB volunteer David Hampson said: “We have also changed gardens and in London alone, an area of vegetated garden equivalent to a pair of Hyde Parks is lost to patios and decking every year.

“The result has been a crash in insect numbers. This is very bad news for hedgehogs and many bird species, like cuckoos, that depend on insects for food.

“It's also bad news for us, as insects pollinate our crops and maintain soil health.

“This is something we can all relate to. When did you last have to scrape insects off your car windscreen after a long journey? And when were you faced by a blizzard of moths attracted by your headlights on one of Bromley's country lanes?

“The good news is that we can all do something to help hedgehogs.

“The three top tips are:

n to make sure there is a gap in your fencing so they can move from garden to garden searching for food

n leave some wild parts of your garden like leaf litter, long grass, log piles

n avoid pesticides like slug pellets.

“Also, if you're lucky enough to see a hedgehog please let the Bromley Biodiversity Partnership know by emailing bromleybiodiversity@gmail.com.”

The RSPB Bromley Local Group is also holding a talk at 7pm on May 8 in the United Reformed Church in Widmore Road with leading hedgehog campaigner and acclaimed wildlife author Hugh Warwick. More details on rspb.org.uk/groups/Bromley.

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