Island Life Magazine Ltd October/November 2011 - Page 77

COUNTRY LIFE female ranges that average a more modest 12 hectares. Hedgehogs spend more than half their active time foraging for food, and routinely travel two or more kilometres during a night in search of invertebrate prey. But as our gardening habits have changed over the years, the urban landscape has developed barriers to these nightly wanderings. Garden decking, bigger patios, brick walls and sturdy fencing have made gardens almost impenetrable to wildlife. And rigorous tidying has made gardens a less desirable habitat. The Hedgehog Preservation Society and the People’s Trust for Endangered Species have teamed up on a new Create a better future for wildlife The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust works to create a better future for wildlife and wild places in Hampshire and the Island. As the leading local wildlife conservation charity, it looks after 57 wildlife reserves, has 28,000 members and 1,000 volunteers. The Trust manages its own land and advises other landowners how to manage their land with wildlife in mind. Staff and volunteers also carry out surveys and gather data to monitor how our local wildlife is doing. Find out more at www.hwt. org.uk. Beechcroft House, Vicarage Lane, Curdridge, Hampshire SO32 2DP www.hwt.org.uk project called Hedgehog Street. They are asking neighbours to create hedgehog friendly linkages between their gardens. A 10cm by 12cm hole in the garden fence could make all the difference to a hedgehog. For more hedgehog friendly ideas, go to www. hedgehogstreet.org. We would like to know more about how hedgehog populations are faring. If you have any records of hedgehogs, please send them to the county recorder at richardg@hwt.org.uk. The records are collected by the Isle of Wight Natural History and Archaeological Society and shared with the Wildlife Trust and the Local Records Centre to provide up to date News information to people involved in hedgehog conservation. Remember, gardens are mini nature reserves. As gardens are the traditional stronghold of the humble hedgehog, most of us can do our bit help: let’s provide hedgehogs with the small corridors they need to move about. Be a part of the Big Wildlife Garden Everyone has the opportunity to help create the UK’s largest nature reserve – with the launch of the ‘Big Wildlife Garden’ (BWG) competition. The competition - a commitment in the Government’s recently published Natural Environment White Paper is being run by The Wildlife Trusts and the Royal Horticultural Society, with funding from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). The Big Wildlife Garden competition encourages everyone to do some wildlife gardening on their doorstep. Anyone is eligible to take part – including individuals, communities, businesses and schools – and no space is too small to be transformed; be it a window box, school playing field or retail park in a town, city or in the countryside. There are six categories and entry is free via the BWG website www.bigwildlifegarden.org.uk. Natalie Rogers, Wildlife Information Officer for Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust says, "Gardens are vitally important for wildlife and create a patchwork of habitat for local plants and animals. The Wildlife Trust's 'Living Landscapes' vision involves linking up habitats to conserve nature, and gardens will play an important role in this. Hampshire and the Island have some wonderful wildlife gardens so please enter the competition to show the UK how fabulous our two counties are for wildlife!" Entries for the BWG competition can be submitted now. The competition closes on 7V