(Above) Hedgehog © Tom Marshall (below) Horatio the hedgehog doordrop illustrated by David Burton
This spring, Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) will be raising awareness of the decline of hedgehogs, one of the UK’s best-loved garden visitors, with a campaign leaflet that will reach over 120,000 homes in Dorset.
Working with local illustrator, David Burton, the story of ‘Horatio’ the hedgehog is hoped to inspire Dorset locals to get out in their garden, and help support the declining population of hedgehogs by making small changes, such as providing compost heaps to create shelter and food.
Many of Dorset's residents care about wildlife in their gardens
DWT Membership Manager, James Haldane said, “Following the success of the ‘Make Wildlife Welcome’ campaign last year, we already know that many of Dorset’s residents really care about wildlife in their gardens. For many, spring is a great time of year to be outside gardening. Hedgehogs will be coming out of hibernation, and need all the help they can get, so we’re asking everyone to garden with wildlife in mind, and give hedgehogs a helping hand. We’re delighted to be working with David Burton, who has really brought this campaign to life with his fantastic illustrations.”
'It was great fun sketching Horatio's journey through the world' - David
Illustrator, David Burton said, “I was really happy to help illustrate this project, and it was great fun sketching Horatio’s journey through the modern world. I’ve only seen one hedgehog in our garden in the last two years. It trundled through looking for food in the leaf piles as it went. I’d love to see more hedgehogs in the future, and by supporting Dorset Wildlife Trust, there’s a good chance that will happen.”
We need to reverse the decline of hedgehogs
The new leaflet from DWT, which will be sent out on Monday 16th March, provides some practical tips on how to help hedgehogs, but also states some alarming facts. In 10 years, one third of hedgehogs have disappeared in the UK. There are 15 million gardens in the UK, so if everyone did something for wildlife in their gardens or outside green spaces, perhaps we can start to reverse the decline of hedgehogs and other species which are also in decline.*
How you can help...
By supporting DWT as a member, you will also receive a free copy of ‘The Wildlife Gardener’ (RRP £14.99) by Kate Bradbury, which will inspire you to garden for all kinds of wildlife. Your support as a member will help the wider work of DWT: managing 42 nature reserves throughout the county, protecting some of our rarest species. For more information on becoming a member, visit our joining page or phone 01305 264620.
*In 2013, the State of Nature report found that 6 out of 10 species in the UK which were studied, were in decline.
For more information please contact Sally Welbourn at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620 or 07436158325.
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Dorset Wildlife Trust works to champion wildlife and natural places, to engage and inspire people and to promote sustainable living. Founded in 1961, DWT is now the largest voluntary nature conservation organisation in Dorset, with over 25,000 members and over 40 nature reserves. Most are open daily and there are visitor centres providing a wealth of wildlife information at Brooklands Farm, Lorton Meadows, Kingcombe Meadows and Brownsea Island Nature Reserves, The Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve and the Urban Wildlife Centre at Upton Heath Nature Reserve. DWT plays a key role in dealing with local environmental issues and leads the way in establishing the practices of sustainable development and engaging new audiences in conservation, particularly in the urban areas.