Rushcliffe Borough Council has passed a motion to explore what action it can take to further reduce the threat of extinction of hedgehogs in the Borough.
A Full Council meeting discussed the issue on July 1. It noted the alarming decline in the number of the animals nationally and considered ways the authority can nurture habitats to ensure their numbers increase.
The authority is looking at where landscape management practices on land it owns could change so that they are supportive of hedgehogs and their habitat.
It will also look at how it can encourage other agencies, councils and residents in Rushcliffe to follow similar practices, advise its ground maintenance contractors Streetwise of further training and work to influence the creation of more “hedgehog highways”.
Already nationally designated as a priority species due to the decline in populations, the authority’s Planning Team is also considering measures to assist the animals.
Where appropriate, applications for new development which includes any new fencing to garden boundaries may now take hedgehog access into consideration.
Features such as hedgehog corridors and other enhancements may also now be assessed in suitable locations.
East Leake Independent Councillor Lesley Way brought the motion before the Council which was unanimously carried and will be assessed in line with the Rushcliffe Nature Conservation Strategy.
Rushcliffe Borough Council’s Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Communities and Climate Change Cllr Abby Brennan said: “This is an important motion and one that will further allow us to focus on where we can play our part in ensuring the threat of extinction is reduced.
“The Environment is a priority for this Council and this means protecting habitats wherever we can especially as our communities grow. We want to address this with residents, groups and developers so they can assess what other measures they can take in line with our Nature Conservation Strategy.”
The Council also follows strict procedures and carries out a professional pest control service at www.rushcliffe.gov.uk/pestcontrol following all legal and industry standards to ensure the consideration and protection of all non-target species.
The authority encourages residents to always use a reputable pest control provider to avoid unwanted consequences and ensure anyone employed is a member of either pest control professional body at https://www.npta.org.uk/ and https://bpca.org.uk/
Of concern is ‘do it yourself’ pest control that some landowners and property owners choose.
Traps or poisons that are inappropriately set can result in significant harm to non-target species, such as hedgehogs, and the Council continues to work closely with rural Police colleagues on snaring which can have a negative impact on local wildlife.
Anyone who finds a snare or trap that they believe to be unlawful should contact Police by calling 101.