BHPS celebrates its 40th birthday!

Major Adrian Coles MBE, who became nationally known as Major Hedgehog, founded the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) in 1982 and was instrumental in giving the hedgehog the high profile that it now enjoys. We continue to work tirelessly to improve awareness of the plight of the hedgehog.

It all began when Adrian found a hedgehog in a cattle grid on his land; he rescued it using a saucepan and then realised that if there hadn’t been a Major on hand with kitchenalia, the hedgehog would not have survived! He used his position as a County Councillor at the time to get Shropshire Council to install escape ramps in all its grids. The resulting publicity was so vast that he realised there was a great appetite to help the humble hedgehog in the UK; and so, the Society was founded.

On our 40th birthday, we are asking people to grant some hedgehoggy birthday wishes!

  • Make Hedgehog Highways in fences – 5” x 5” (13 x 13cm) square gaps in the bottom of fences or walls should do it! Once created you can log these on the BIG Hedgehog Map at www.bighedgehogmap.org
  • Create an undisturbed log pile that will offer shelter and food.
  • Buy or build a Hedgehog Home (see plans here or contact us for a paper copy).
  • Offer water and meaty cat or dog food for hedgehogs – you can even build a feeding station to help keep the food safe (see plans here or contact us for a paper copy)
  • Check areas carefully before mowing or strimming.
  • Ditch pesticides and poisons.
  • Ensure there is an easy route out of ponds and pools.
  • Create a wild corner – leave a corner or edge to go wild, supplying shelter and natural food for hedgehogs in the form of bugs and grubs!
  • Join BHPS (or if you are already a supporter – recruit someone else). Prices start at just £7.50 for an individual UK supporter!

Fay Vass, our Chief Executive said “Hedgehogs are struggling and mostly that’s due to human activity; these small actions can help a great deal – a little effort from each of us could make life a lot easier for hedgehogs! If you don’t have a garden yourself, you can still help by contacting public space managers, neighbours, family and friends to ensure they are doing their bit.” 

Hedgehog Awareness Week runs from 1st – 7th May 2022, it is organised by the BHPS and takes place every year. It aims to highlight the problems hedgehogs face and how you can help them, find out more by following us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Hedgehog Awareness Week runs from 1st – 7th May 2022

Hedgehog Awareness Week runs from 1st – 7th May 2022, it is organised by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and takes place every year. It aims to highlight the problems hedgehogs face and how you can help them.

This year we are celebrating the 40th Birthday of BHPS and asking people to grant hedgehoggy birthday wishes!

  • Make a Hedgehog Highway in Fences – 5” x 5” (13 x 13cm) square gaps in the bottom of fences or walls should do it! Once created you can log these on the BIG Hedgehog Map at www.bighedgehogmap.org
  • Create an undisturbed log pile that will offer shelter and food.
  • Offer water and meaty cat or dog food for hedgehogs – you can even build a feeding station to help keep the food safe for hedgehogs (see plans on BHPS website or contact us for a paper copy)
  • Check areas carefully before mowing or strimming.
  • Ditch pesticides and poisons.
  • Ensure there is an easy route out of ponds & pools.
  • Create a wild corner – leave a corner or edge to go wild supplying shelter and natural food for hedgehogs in the form of bugs and grubs!
  • Join BHPS (or if you are already a supporter – recruit someone else).

BHPS Chief Executive, Fay Vass, said: “Hedgehogs are struggling and mostly that’s due to human activity, these small actions can help a great deal, a little effort from each of us could make life a lot easier for hedgehogs! If you don’t have a garden yourself, you can still help by contacting public space managers, neighbours, family and friends to ensure they are doing their bit.”

BHPS is urging everyone to become a Hedgehog Champion for their area at Hedgehog Street – a project run by BHPS and People’s Trust for Endangered Species. Join over 105,000 Champions by signing up for free at: www.hedgehogstreet.org – you will get an email with top tips on how you can help hedgehogs each month and there’s even a Hedgehog Street app you can download from The App Store or Google Play!

BHPS is hoping to raise £2,000 during Hedgehog Awareness Week 2022, you can donate to the 2022 #hedgehogweek appeal at: www.justgiving.com/campaign/HAW22

Leaflets and posters are available on this website under ‘information’ or we can post paper copies out on request. A downloadable copy of the Hedgehog Awareness Week (HAW) poster is available by clicking below.

Hedgehog Friendly Campus

Hedgehog Friendly Campus is a BHPS-funded award programme, offering free support to help universities, FE colleges and primary schools make impactful changes for hedgehogs.

This year, they’re expanding their Hedgehog Friendly Schools programme and want more primary schools to get involved. Participating primary schools can work towards Bronze, Silver or Gold levels.

You’ll be completing activities that protect hedgehogs from hazards, enhance their habitat and raise awareness about hedgehog decline. You’ll get access to loads of free classroom activities, campaigning resources and advice. You’ll also get free mammal survey resources so you can see what animals are visiting.

Hedgehog Friendly Schools makes a great class project, Eco-Council project or whole-school project for schools who want to create positive change for a species in need.

If your primary school is interested in becoming a Hedgehog Friendly School, contact Jo at info@hedgehogfriendlycampus.co.uk to get involved.

Follow the programme on social media @hogfriendly.

C.oey-y-Garn Primary School completing a hedgehog footprint survey on their grounds
St Josephs Primary School poster competition.
Broadmayne Primary School’s ‘Pledgehog’ pledge board.
Lord Deramore’s Primary School litter pick.

NEW State of Britain’s Hedgehog Report issued today!

Today our Hedgehog Street project launched the State of Britain’s Hedgehogs 2022 report. Hedgehog Street is a partnership between the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and People’s Trust for Endangered Species.

Hedgehog Friendly Campus Awards 2021-22

Hedgehog Friendly Campus is a UK-wide award scheme funded by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society. Teams of staff and students work to apply hedgehog-friendly actions on and around their university, college or school.

HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to all those who achieved their #HFCBronze, #HFCSilver and #HFCGold accreditations for 2021/2022! Don’t see your institution listed and want to get involved? Email info@hedgehogfriendlycampus.co.uk for more information.

Universities

The following Universities have achieved Bronze Accreditation (2021/2022):

Bournemouth, Cardiff, Coventry, Cranfield, De Montfort, Hartpury, London School of Economics, Oxford Brookes, Queen Margaret Edinburgh, Royal Veterinary College, Sheffield Hallam, Staffordshire, Bradford, UCLAN, Hertfordshire, Hull, St Andrews, Warwick, Writtle.

The following universities also renewed their Bronze accreditation (2021/2022):

Bristol, Brighton and Sunderland

The following Universities have achieved Silver Accreditation (2021/2022):

Aberystwyth, Bangor, Bath Spa, Birmingham City, Bishop Grosseteste, Cardiff Metropolitan, Durham, Falmouth Exeter Plus, Kingston, Leeds Beckett, Nottingham Trent (Brackehnurst, City and Clifton campuses), Newcastle, Swansea, Chester, Chichester, Derby, Glasgow, Greenwich (Avery Hill, Greenwich and Medway campuses), Huddersfield, Leeds, Nottingham, Salford, Southampton, Stirling, Suffolk, Westminster, Wrexham Glyndwr and York St. John.

The following universities also renewed their Silver accreditation (2021/2022):

Bristol

The following Universities have achieved Gold Accreditation (2021/2022):

Bristol, Edinburgh, Essex, Fitzwilliam College Cambridge, Keele, Kent, Lincoln, Liverpool, Roehampton, UWE Bristol, Winchester, Worcester, York.

FE Colleges

The following FE Colleges have achieved Bronze Accreditation (2021/2022):

Berkshire College of Agriculture, SMB College (Brooksby Campus), Forth Valley College, Grwp Llandrillo-Menai, Hadlow College, Kendal College, National Star College, Newark College, Sheiling School and Sheiling College, Sparsholt College and University Centre Sparsholt, The Sheffield College.

Primary Schools

The following primary schools have achieved Bronze Accreditation (2021/2022):

Willowtown Primary School, Wool CE Primary School.

The following primary schools have achieved Silver Accreditation (2021/2022):

St Joseph’s RC Primary, Milton Primary Academy, Broadmayne First School.

The following primary schools have achieved Gold Accreditation (2021/2022):

Aspin Park Academy, Abernyte Primary School, Brackenfield School, Ysgol Gynradd Coed-y-Garn Primary School, Harrysmuir Primary School, Grappenhall Heys Primary School, Grandtully Primary School, Lord Deramore’s Primary School.

Well done all – keep up the good work!

Trustee Positions Available

The British Hedgehog Preservation Society (Registered Charity number 1164542) currently has two opportunities to join our board of Trustees. Please note that the positions are voluntary, though out of pocket expenses will be met.

  • BHPS is a UK charity founded in 1982 dedicated to helping & protecting hedgehogs native to the UK. 
  • Visit www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk for more information on our work.

Trustee Role Purpose

As a trustee, you will be responsible for the overall governance and strategic direction of the Charity, developing its aims, objectives and goals in accordance with guidelines.

The trustees carry out business on behalf of the charity. In your role, as a trustee, you will help to protect the wealth and assets of the Charity. You will be legally responsible for the assets and debts of a trust. 

We are particularly keen to hear from applicants with finance and fundraising experience, and would welcome all applicants with the appropriate skill set.

Trustee Responsibilities

Trustee responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring that the Charity complies with guidelines and legislation.
  • Making sure that the Charity pursues its defined goals.
  • Monitoring the financial position of the Charity and ensuring that it operates within its means and that there are clear lines of accountability for financial management
  • Ensuring that the resources of the Charity are used only to pursue legitimate objectives.
  • Contributing to the board of trustees’ role of providing strategic direction and supporting the development of policies, goals and targets.
  • Maintaining the good name of the Charity.
  • Making sure that the administration of the Charity is carried out efficiently.
  • Ensuring the financial stability of the Charity.
  • Scrutinising board papers and other communications.
  • Using specific expertise to assist in certain areas.
  • Participating in working groups as necessary.
  • Attending seminars and networking events when required.
  • Leading discussions and providing guidance on new initiatives, particularly in areas where the Trustee has specific skills, knowledge or expertise.
  • Maintaining confidentiality about any sensitive or confidential information received in the course of duties as a trustee.
  • Regularly attending and taking a full part in meetings. The board meets (on a Tuesday) in Worcestershire, once every quarter.

Skills and qualifications

We are seeking two new Trustees with specific skills and experience in finance and fundraising., In addition, Trustees are expected to have the following skills:

  • Commitment to the goals and aims of the Charity.
  • Dedication to the role and a willingness to devote the required time.
  • The ability to make good independent judgements.
  • Understanding the importance of carrying out required legal duties.
  • Proven strategic abilities that can be used to create effective plans.
  • Strength of character coupled with the ability to voice concerns and opinions.
  • Proven experience working as a member of successful teams.
  • Integrity and objectivity which can be applied to all aspects of the role.

To apply

If you are interested in applying to be a Trustee, please send a copy of your CV and a covering letter explaining what you can offer the Society to Fay Vass, CEO, BHPS, Hedgehog House, Dhustone, Ludlow, SY8 3PL (email info@britishhedgehogs.org.uk). Closing date 30th November 2021.

Ben’s Bonfire Concerns for Hedgehogs

With many 5th November events back after the lockdown gap last year, and people hosting bonfire parties in gardens, the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) and its Patron Ben Fogle are concerned that hedgehogs will be injured or killed if the piles of material aren’t carefully checked. Ben is asking for the public’s help – “Please, please, please spare a few minutes to check for hedgehogs – you could literally save a life! Hedgehogs are in serious decline and this is one thing you can do to keep them safe. There are other small changes you can make that will help even more, take a look at the BHPS website for ideas.”

Fay Vass, Chief Executive of the Society added Ben’s right! A bonfire pile looks like a 5* hotel to a hedgehog seeking a safe and cosy winter home to hibernate in. They aren’t to know we plan to set light to it!”

The Society has a three-step plan to try to ensure the safety of hedgehogs on bonfire night:

  1. MOVE the materials to clear ground on the day they’re to be lit, then
  2. CHECK the pile carefully just before striking that match, and finally
  3. OFFER an escape route by only lighting from one side.

Hedgehogs tend to hide in the centre and bottom two feet of the bonfire, which should be checked by gently lifting the bonfire section by section with a pole or broom. Never use a spade or fork as these can stab them. Using a torch will help and listen for a hissing sound, as this is the noise they make when disturbed.

Fay continued “If a hedgehog is found, take as much of the nest as you can with it and place in a high-sided cardboard box with plenty of newspaper, old towelling or straw. Ensure there are air holes in the lid and that the lid is secured firmly to the box, as hedgehogs are great climbers. Wear gardening gloves or use an old towel to handle them so as not to get human smells on them and to keep them calm as hedgehogs are easily stressed; it also protects your hands from their spikes! Put the box in a safe, quiet place such as a shed or garage well away from the festivities and offer the hedgehog some meaty cat or dog food and water. Once the embers are totally dampened down, release the hedgehog under a hedge, bush or behind a stack of logs near where it was found, with its original nesting materials.”

We are deeply saddened by the news of the death of our much loved patron John Challis.

John was a dedicated patron for over a decade and during that time we got to see just how much he adored our prickly friends. He was totally committed to the cause, championing the hedgehog and BHPS whenever he could, readily agreeing to filming, events, media requests and promoting the charity with great warmth and humour. We will miss him very much indeed and send our most sincere condolences to his family and friends at this time of great loss.

Call to action: please help us gain support for hedgehogs in Parliament!

UPDATE:

The BHPS petition, asking the Government to move hedgehogs from Schedule 6 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to Schedule 5, was debated in Parliament on 5th July 2021. Details can be found HERE.

We were delighted that all 11 MPs that took part in the debate spoke passionately about helping hedgehogs and supported our petition request which would increase legal protection for hedgehogs.

The Minister present for the purpose of the debate, spoke about Government’s Green Paper that is due in autumn. It will follow a review of species legislation, with the intention of enhancing and modernising it.

We have been in touch with all those MPs and with the DEFRA Minister to see how we move this forward together and we will continue to apply pressure for greater legal protection to help the dwindling hedgehog population in the UK.

We thank every single person who signed the petition and helped us raise this issue in Parliament. Watch this space…!


Following successfully gathering over 100,000 signatures on our petition asking for greater legal protection for hedgehogs, we have a parliament debate date set for 5th July 2021 and we have a favour to ask our supporters!

We would love you to send an email to your MP before 5th July asking them to attend the debate and support the petition. We have suggested some wording for the letter HERE and it can of course be personalised should you wish. Please make sure you supply your full name, address and contact number as some MP’s won’t respond if they are not included.

Your MP’s email address can be found HERE – just insert your postcode and click search for their contact details.

The debate is scheduled for Monday 5th July from 4.30pm to 6pm and will be broadcast online, you can watch it HERE

The original petition can be viewed HERE

Pancytopenia outbreak in cats

We are aware of recent concerns about an outbreak of Pancytopenia in cats and possible link to some cat foods which are being recalled. We are keeping up to date on the situation via Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons website and we are in contact with several veterinary surgeons who deal with wildlife. As we do not know if this can affect hedgehogs, we suggest not feeding the recalled foods to hedgehogs. The list of recalled foods can be found HERE.

The Royal Veterinary College has put out a call for information to gather further information on any identified cases and the possible cause of this illness in cats.