As part of Hedgehog Awareness Week starting next week, our grounds maintenance supply chain partners, ISS, are launching a campaign to help reduce the number of hedgehogs that could be killed, or seriously injured, when grounds equipment is in use.
The once common hedgehog is under threat. In the last ten years, numbers have dramatically fallen by 30%. There are now thought to be fewer than one million left in the UK and our hedgehogs are disappearing from our countryside as quickly as tigers are globally! This dramatic loss in numbers is caused by a variety of reasons, habitat loss being the main one.
Within the Defence Estate many of our establishments and housing can provide perfect homes for these animals. ISS Landscaping are supporting the British Hedgehog Preservation Society to make sure all operatives are aware of the potential dangers that their equipment can pose to wildlife while carrying out our work. Many of these dangers can be easily avoided with some awareness.
This campaign ensures operatives are carrying out thorough visual checks before they start using their tools and labels will be attached to all grounds equipment that could be harmful. If a hedgehog is seen, operatives are advised to send details to their compliance team of where and when the hedgehog was spotted along with a picture.
Seaton Price, Head of Sustainability & Audit, says, “One way we can have an impact on this issue is through our grounds maintenance operations, the plant and equipment of which can pose a risk to these animals. ISS have signed up to support the campaign by alerting their operatives and rolling out dozens of stickers. Supporting this campaign, in conjunction with ISS, helps us protect the important biodiversity that is intrinsic to the Defence Estate.”