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Hedgehogs being wiped out by artificial lawns and gravel

Grass Clippings - HedgehogsThey are the gardener's friend, snuffling around our lawns and borders by night, hunting plant pests like slugs and snails.

But the British hedgehog could be shuffling towards extinction, due to the increasing popularity of gravel and astroturf gardens.  The hedgehog population is now thought to be less than one million, compared to about 36 million in the 1950s. Wildlife surveys show numbers have dropped by a third since 2002, and in London the decline is an estimated 50 per cent.

The fall has led to an alert from The People's Trust For Endangered Species (PTES) and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS), which hope householders and builders will help save the creature, immortalised by Beatrix Potter's Mrs Tiggy-Winkle.

As well as calling for less gravel, they have produced leaflets urging homeowners to make access holes in fences so that hedgehogs can travel to find food. 

Henry Johnson, PTES hedgehog officer, said: 'We're really concerned about the number of front gardens covered in concrete, paving or gravel for car parks. And artificial grass provides no nourishment at all for hedgehogs and so it's inevitable they disappear from those gardens.'

Read more on The Daily Mail

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