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Wildlife Trust set to appoint hedgehog officer

WARWICKSHIRE Wildlife Trust is recruiting a hedgehog officer.

The paid, year-long role will see the successful candidate spend their time enthusing local people and businesses about helping the prickly mammal.

The hedgehog population has declined by 30 per cent since the year 2000, according to the trust, which said the successful candidate would be engaging people of all ages and backgrounds in helping their local hedgehogs by making outside spaces, such as gardens and churchyards, hedgehog-friendly.

They will also be encouraging homeowners to make 13x13cm holes in their fences to connect the landscape for hedgehogs to travel through and to provide more shelter by leaving areas of their gardens to go ‘wild’.

The trust launched its Help for Hedgehogs campaign five years ago 2013 and since then has declared two so-called Hedgehog Improvement Areas (HIAs) in the area it covers: one in Solihull and the other in Rugby.

The HIAs are funded by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) with the aim of raising awareness about hedgehog decline and ultimately improving the landscape for wildlife.

Deborah Wright, who oversees both HIAs for the trust, said: “The new hedgehog officer will have such a varied role, from conducting night time torchlight surveys, to planting hedges, to running craft activities with children.

"They will have the opportunity to make a difference to such an iconic species through genuine grassroots conservation. We are at a really exciting stage in the HIAs and are looking forward to developing a legacy for hedgehog conservation into the future with our new recruit.”

In 2016 three Stratford schoolgirls made moves to declare it a hedgehog-friendly town.

And In June last year, Warwickshire Wildlife Trust and the People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) released a rare hazel dormice into the wild in south Warwickshire in an attempt to stem the decline of the endangered species.

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