David Wilson Homes Mercia is rolling out hedgehog friendly features at all of its upcoming developments in Shropshire following the success of its wildlife friendly show home garden.
The homebuilder recently won an award for its show home garden created in partnership with the RSPB at its Spinney Fields site in nearby Warwickshire. The garden scooped the ‘Temporary Award’ in the Big Biodiversity Challenge Awards and is full of features designed to attract wildlife. The ‘Temporary Award’ promotes non-permanent environmental enhancements, such as green hording, a temporary green wall or a community engagement initiative.
Now the homebuilder is removing barriers to hedgehogs at its upcoming developments in Shropshire. Hedgehog firendly highways will be installed at all forthcoming developments wherever possible. Small holes are made under garden fences allowing hedgehogs to safely pass through gardens at the new developments.
The partnership between the RSPB and the developer is the first of its kind in the UK and aims to boost natural habitats at developments across the country using updated landscaping and new guidance.
The Spinney Fields garden was one of the first of its kind in the country and the concept is now being rolled out at a number of its other new homes developments in the region. David Wilson Homes Mercia’s Blossom Fields site in Worcestershire also follows the concept and features bird boxes, bat boxes, bee and butterfly friendly plants, a hedgehog house and a hedgehog highway. The homebuilder’s upcoming site Bishop’s Hill in Warwickshire, which is located next to a nature reserve will also benefit from a wildlife friendly garden. New residents of the site will also be given a membership to Warwickshire Wildlife Trust to encourage them to give nature a home in their own gardens.
John Fitzgerald, Managing Director at David Wilson Homes Mercia, said:
“We are delighted to be furthering the success of our wildlife friendly show home garden at Spinney Fields and creating more gardens such as this. We will also be starting to implement hedgehog highways across all upcoming developments wherever we can. It demonstrates that we can build new homes and at the same time protect and enhance the biodiversity of a local area, benefitting the economy, creating employment and improving health and wellbeing for our customers and the communities we create.”
Adrian Thomas, the RSPB’s wildlife gardening expert, said:
“Rough estimates put the hedgehog population in England, Wales and Scotland at just one million, compared with 30 million in the 1950s, so everything you can do to help these much loved garden visitors is welcome."
“The good news is that there are many simple ways to help hedgehogs thrive once again in your garden. A hedgehog highway is a great first step - it is just a square or round hole cut in the base of a fence - meaning that hedgehogs can roam freely from garden to garden. This will not only help hedgehogs but will also mean you’ll have the wonderful experience of seeing one snuffling around your garden.”