Hedgehog © Tom Marshall

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.

Horatio doordrop © DWT (illustration by David Burton)

Horatio doordrop © DWT (illustration by David Burton)

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.

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.”

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.”

The new leaflet from DWT will be sent out on Monday 16 March. It 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 it would start to reverse the decline of hedgehogs and other species which are also in decline.

For more information visit www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/join or phone 01305 264620.

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