The urban environment is tough for small animals to navigate. Fences block off one garden from another so that animals have a difficult time moving around to find food and shelter. It’s for this reason that hedgehog numbers have been declining in England over recent years. But these little prickly pals have a friend in Michael Birkenwald, who engineers solutions that make London a friendlier place for wee creatures.
Emily Wilson from Hedgehog Street, an advocacy group in London, claims that hedgehog numbers are down by 50%. She is hoping homeowners will help these little creatures who need to travel about a mile every night to find food and mates. All you have to do to help save the hedgehogs is make a hole in your fence.
And that’s precisely what Birkenwald is doing. He goes around London drilling holes in people’s walls for free. It takes about an hour to get through a brick or stone wall, and much less for wooden fences. He marks these holes with a plaque so people can help to keep them clear.
If you want to become a friend of the hedgehogs, you can register here. There are lots of ways in which you can help. You can create a garden which is pesticide free so that all small urban creatures have a place to find food and shelter. You can provide a water source and also safe passage to other gardens in your area. Becoming an oasis for everything from bees to hedgehogs can help support animal and insect populations in the city.