Portreath school children will find out how to help Portreath go hedgehog friendly and help stop the decline in hedgehogs during a visit to the school by Gary Zamit from Feadon Farm Wildlife Centre this week. Gary will be taking a hedgehog to the assembly at Portreath Community School giving pupils the opportunity to get closer to the UK’s only spiny mammal. The assembly marks the start of the challenge accepted by local Councillor Joyce Duffin to help hedgehogs so Portreath can become Cornwall’s first hedgehog friendly village.

The work in Portreath to support hedgehogs is part of a larger initiative called Operation Hedgehog which is about working with residents and businesses to make Cornwall a healthier home for hedgehogs. Operation Hedgehog was set up by Cornwall Biodiversity Initiative (CBI) and the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Nature Partnership (CIoS LNP) to address the decline in hedgehogs in Cornwall.

The Portreath launch will follow the successful Operation Hedgehog Event at Mount Pleasant Eco Park in November 2016 where around 100 people went along to hear hedgehog experts talk about hedgehog biology and ecology.

Hedgehog numbers are rapidly declining. In 1950 there were 36 million Hedgehogs and there are less than a million today; and since 2000 hedgehog numbers have fallen by over 50% in rural area across the UK. Hedgehogs live in gardens, woods and fields and their numbers have declined because of green spaces being tidied up, development, increased traffic, lack of insect food and nesting sites, and pesticides.

Gary will be giving the Portreath pupils top tips on how they can stop the decline in hedgehogs by making their garden hedgehog friendly. These tips include letting a bit of the garden stay wild, keeping the garden free of netting or garden refuse and not using garden pesticides which poison hedgehogs and other wildlife.

Joyce Duffin, Local Councillor for Portreath said “I’m delighted that a Feadon Farm Wildlife Centre are visiting the school and taking part in launching this initiative to help Portreath become Cornwall’s first hedgehog friendly village. I encourage everyone to make small changes to their gardens where they can so that we can create better environments for hedgehogs to live. It’s really important that we support Operation Hedgehog to help stop the numbers of hedgehogs declining both in Portreath and across Cornwall.”

As part of the initiative to support Portreath go hedgehog friendly, an information leaflet explaining how people can help will be given to pupils at Portreath Community Primary School and delivered to all households in Portreath. Follow up talk for adults in Portreath about how they can help hedgehogs are also planned.

The Hedgehog-friendly Portreath initiative is endorsed by Portreath School, Portreath Parish Council, Portreath Improvements Community, Feadon Farm, Cornwall Council and Councillor Joyce Duffin.

For more information and details of how you can help, including how to get your village or town to get hedgehog friendly, please email operation.hedgehog@cornwall.gov.uk. Generic ‘Help-a-hedgehog’ posters for Town and Parish Council or community notice boards are also available on request.

If you see a hedgehog during the day, or find one which is sick or injured, contact Prickles and Paws on 01637 831299.

Story posted 30 January 2016

Via: http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/council-news-room/media-releases/news-from-2017/news-from-january-2017/portreath-school-children-encouraged-to-help-portreath-go-hedgehog-friendly/