Band Together Campaign
Band Together Campaign
Recent surveys have shown the decline in UK hedgehog numbers is continuing, with a 50% fall since 2000. The population was estimated at 30 million in the 1950s, but now is thought to be just over 522,000. Loses appear highest in rural areas. Sadly humans are responsible for many of the problems facing hedgehogs, but that also means we can have the biggest impact on trying to improve their situation.
Prickles and Paws is treating more hedgehogs each year injured by our litter and rubbish left in our countryside, villages and towns. One of the biggest problems is from a small litter item. Juvenile and smaller hedgehogs are getting stuck in hair bands, elastic bands, cable ties, plastic can rings, anything which makes a loop. As the hedgehog grows and moves the band cannot grow with it, cutting into the skin. Hedgehogs are arriving to us with serious wounds and infections, requiring long term treatment, but also resulting in long term damage and sometimes death.
Prickles and Paws have teamed up with Clean Cornwall to produce a free resource pack for schools and groups to learn about the risks and simple things we can all do to look after our local wildlife. The pack contains information and advice aimed at Key Stage 1 and 2 levels and is available through the Clean Cornwall ‘Campaigns’ web page: https://www.cleancornwall.org/band-together.php.
“Bandtogether is just the start – there is so much more we can do to help our wildlife and engage people with both the environment and these captivating little creatures. Each year we admit hedgehogs with injuries caused by litter – it is heart breaking to see these hedgehogs suffering and in some cases dying from these injuries which are totally preventable! Change starts out small, with one person and one act… As a community we can work together to prevent this and spread the message, we hope the schools we will be working with will become our voice” (Katy South, Prickles and Paws)
We have become more aware of our effect on the marine environment, but Keep Britain Tidy research has highlighted the devastating impact our litter is having on UK mammals, including hedgehogs, shrews and bank voles – more than 8% of littered bottles and nearly 5% of cans littered on roadsides contained small animal remains (Keep Britain Tidy 2018).
“We are the cause of litter but our wildlife is paying the price. Hedgehogs are such an iconic image of our rural and urban areas. We have to take responsibility for our rubbish and change our behaviour. Band together! will help raise awareness of the impact of our actions and how we can improve our environment for everyone and everything living there.” Amy Walker, Clean Cornwall
As part of the Band together! campaign we want people to keep their eyes open for hair bands, elastic bands and any ‘loops’ that could be a hedgehog hazard. Let us know what you find and where.