Sanctuary has pledged to install hedgehog-sized holes in the garden fences of all its new homes, encouraging free movement of local wildlife.

Residents moving into new properties can expect to discover ‘Hedgehog Highways’ - a network of CD case-sized square holes linking their gardens with neighbouring plots and other green spaces, for hedgehogs to travel through.  

Hedgehog Highway signs, made from recycled plastic, will be attached above the gaps to ensure their purpose is obvious to new residents and to highlight the importance of protecting the much-loved creatures.

Sanctuary has purchased the signs from Hedgehog Street with funding from its MORE! initiative, which supports community projects in areas where new homes are being developed.

Hedgehog Street is a joint campaign by wildlife charities People's Trust for Endangered Species and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society to help the UK’s native hedgehog population, which has fallen by a third in urban areas since the millennium.

Grace Johnson, from Hedgehog Street, said: “Hedgehogs travel around one mile every night through parks and gardens in their quest to find enough food, nest sites and mates.

“Walls and fences can fragment the landscape, making it very difficult for hedgehogs to get from one green space to the next. Hedgehog Highways are our main solution for ensuring there is good connectivity between suitable habitats, and we are delighted that Sanctuary is making this positive step change for hedgehogs.”

Colleen Eccles, Sanctuary’s head of place shaping, added: “As a national developer of new homes we are always looking for sustainable ways to enrich our communities.

“We’re thrilled that we can support this important initiative and implement something as simple as cutting a 13cm x 13cm square hole in garden fences to instantly improve connectivity and help protect this threatened species.”

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