HedgehogThe declining UK hedgehog population was highlighted at a special Wild About Gardens event at Knoll Gardens near Wimborne as part of a Knoll Gardens Foundation initiative to explain how we can all share our gardens with wildlife.

Visitors were able to handle hedgehogs and learn about these prickly creatures from Dorset Wildlife Trust officers, and get advice on ways to create suitable hedgehog habitats and ‘wildlife corridors’ to encourage hedgehogs into our gardens.

The UK hedgehog population has radically declined in both urban and rural areas in the last 12 years with The People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) suggesting that numbers have dropped by one third to fewer than a million. The Knoll event was one of more than one hundred around the UK organised to support the recent joint RHS/Wildlife Trusts Wild About Gardens week.

Learning and interpretation officer with Dorset Wildlife Trust Nicky Hoar said, “Hedgehogs are in serious decline so we are keen to encourage people to help them. They are not only wild native animals that need our protection but they also help us to control slugs and snails in the gardens – so what’s not to like? We hope that this event and the Wild About Gardens campaign will be a big boost to hedgehogs in our area and that can only be good for all of us.”

The Knoll Gardens Foundation is a charity dedicated to refining and promoting a wildlife-friendly naturalistic gardening style using the garden at Knoll as a practical example and base for experimentation. The Foundation runs events to help gardeners to create truly stunning gardens that are both wildlife-friendly and reduce reliance on scarce natural resources.

The team is busy planning its event programme for 2016 and more information on wildlife and plant inspired days will be posted on www.knollgardensfoundation.org.

More details about the RHS/Wildlife Trusts Wild About Gardens campaign can be found at www.wildaboutgardens.org.uk

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