The British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) and People's Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) are pleased to announce that their joint submission for a hedgehog-friendly garden has been selected as one of this year’s summer gardens at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. The charities’ summer garden, called Hedgehog Street, aims to raise awareness of the plight of threatened hedgehogs and show how gardeners can help the species in their very own back yard.
Created by award-winning garden designer Tracy Foster, the garden will feature various elements that are beneficial to our native hedgehogs. Hedgehog populations in the UK have plummeted by over a third in the last ten years, and one of the factors contributing to this decline is tidy, fenced-in gardens.
Fay Vass, Chief Executive of BHPS explains: “The decline of hedgehogs can be attributed to a number of environmental factors, including neat and tidy gardens that are isolated from one another by fences or walls, preventing hedgehogs from finding shelter, food and mates. The average range for a hedgehog in an urban area covers about 500 gardens, so we need people to help these iconic creatures by joining up their gardens.”
One of the simplest steps gardeners can take to help hedgehogs is to link gardens in their neighbourhood by teaming up with their neighbours to make a small hole in shared boundaries so that the creatures can roam freely. A hole that is 13cm2 in size at ground level will be big enough for a hedgehog to pass through.
Jill Nelson, Chief Executive of PTES said: “The hedgehog is known as the ‘gardener’s friend’ and by creating a summer garden at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show we hope to prove to professional and amateur gardeners-alike that it is easy and inexpensive to create a hedgehog-friendly space, no matter what type of garden you have, whether modern and contemporary or wild and rustic.”