Call for 'hedgehog highways' to be included in new housing developments
PUBLISHED: 13:56 06 August 2019 | UPDATED: 13:56 06 August 2019
An animal-lover is hoping her local council will become a leading light in providing the solution to a prickly problem.
When any planning application is lodged, one of the most immediate considerations is how people will access the new development.
However, Paula Symonds, of Mountfield Avenue in Hellesdon, is hoping similar attention can be given to the access needs of hedgehogs.
Ms Symonds, the founder of Hodmedod's Hedgehog Support, has turned to Hellesdon Parish Council in a hope it will set an example to others by calling for 'hedgehog highways' to be included in all new developments in the area.
These are either specific holes in fences or small tunnels underneath specifically designed to allow the spiky customers to travel from garden to garden with ease.
Ms Symonds, who has rescued more than 50 hedgehogs since setting up the organisation in 2016, said: "A hedgehog needs to travel about a mile every night to collect enough food and water to survive, so being able to move between gardens is absolutely essential to them.
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"Enclosed gardens pose a real threat to them, as they will not be able to gather enough food to stay alive.
"Therefore, letting them get through from garden to garden is one of the most important things you can do to help hedgehogs."
She has written to the parish council asking them to make it known to developers building new homes in the suburb that the hedgehog highways are a must.
She added: "New regulations have come in saying new housing developments must be wildlife friendly and hedgehog highways are a big part of that.
"As I live in Hellesdon and there is new development on the way at the golf course it would be a good chance for the parish council to try and set a great example for others.
"Putting in hedgehog highways is not a difficult thing to do, but they really do make a world of difference to the animals themselves."
A Hellesdon Parish Council spokesman said Ms Symonds' letter was due to be shared with its members and discussed by full council.