We’re not Larkin about: hedgehogs need our council’s help

hedgehogThe British Hedgehog Preservation Society (yes, such a body does exist), is calling on Croydon Council and its contractors to be hedgehog aware when cutting the borough’s parks’ grasses and verges, especially when using strimmers.

Our gardening power tools are weapons of mass destruction when it comes to wildlife. The deadliness of mowers is nothing knew, as the poet Philip Larkin addressed the subject 40 years ago:

The mower stalled, twice; kneeling, I found
A hedgehog jammed up against the blades,
Killed. It had been in the long grass.

I had seen it before, and even fed it, once.
Now I had mauled its unobtrusive world
Unmendably. Burial was no help:

Next morning I got up and it did not.
The first day after a death, the new absence
Is always the same; we should be careful

Of each other, we should be kind
While there is still time.

There’s various pieces of advice for suburban garden owners to help provide a healthy habitat for hedgehogs, and other garden wildlife, but what the hedgehog preservationists are seeking is for local authorities – who, let’s face it, conduct gardening on an industrial scale – to ensure that the machinery that they or their contractors use carry stickers as a reminder to the operators to be hedgehog aware.

The British Hedgehog Preservation Society has a “roll of honour” with those councils who have already signed up to their scheme. Croydon Council is not on that list.

To try to help Croydon’s hedgehogs, lobby the cabinet member responsible for parks, Timothy Godfrey, by emailing him at timothy.godfrey@croydon.gov.uk, asking him to contact the hedgehog preservationists, and they will send the council free stickers for its machines.

For more information, email them at info@britishhedgehogs.org.uk.

Or you can click here to visit their website.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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