‘Hedgehog highways’ installed at new homes being built near Horsham
Special ‘hedgehog highways’ are being built as part of a new housing development on the edge of Horsham.
Housebuilders Berkeley Homes have launched the initiative in a bid to help protect Sussex’s hedgehogs from extinction.
The hedgehog highways are being installed at Berekeley’s Broadacres development in Southwater.
Adult hedgehogs are said to travel between 1-2 kilometres per night across a staggering 10-20 hectares in the search for food, with some venturing onto busy roads, putting them at higher risk of being hit by traffic or attacked by predators.
A Berkeley’s spokesman said: “The biggest cause of the rapid decline of hedgehogs in the UK is due to human interference, and the inability to forage for food in gardens due to fences.
“For the newest phase of homes at Broadacres, Berkeley is working with a number of wildlife rescue centres to put several measures in place to protect hedgehogs.”
The builders are ensuring that every home in the new phase at Broadacres will feature a hedgehog highway – specially designed 150mm holes at the bottom of timber fences that will allow hedgehogs to roam freely through gardens, without the need to venture onto the road.
Flower beds in every back garden will also provide safe cover for hedgehogs to forage for food without being disturbed, say the builders.
Berkeley Homes Southern sales and marketing director Ben Annetts said: “We’re honoured to be lending a helping hand to save and preserve the lives of Southwater’s hedgehogs.
“We were devastated to hear of the decline in hedgehogs in the UK, and immediately knew that we had a responsibility to help stop the numbers falling further.
“We hope that by introducing the hedgehog highways, we can not only help to preserve the lives of the hedgehogs and offer them a safe space to be reintroduced to the wild, but also boost their population as they will hopefully start to mate and breed in their new habitats.”
The new phase at Broadacres, Water Meadows, is a collection of three to five bedroom homes.
For further information on helping hedgehogs, visit www.wildlifetrusts.org.
To find out more information on the homes available at Broadacres, visit www.broadacres-southwater.co.uk