Trying to help Cramlington’s hedgehogs…
August 23, 2022
A Cramlington Town Councillor has thrown his support behind a young resident who is determined to protect the town’s hedgehog population.
Thirteen-year-old Molly found a hedgehog trapped in a football net in her garden and took it to the Northumbrian Hedgehog Rescue Trust in Longframlington who cared for it and later released it into the wild.
But Molly was instantly a committed hedgehog fan and after volunteering at the Trust and learning how to care for the cute but prickly creatures she is now a hog foster carer and has created an area in the family garage with hutches and food at the ready.
Parents Debby and Richard and older sister Hope are impressed by her dedication and are fully supportive of her endeavours.
Molly was also hoping to get support in the form of road signs to alert drivers to the fact that hogs regularly cross the roads near her Doxford Place home.
Town and County Councillor Mark Swinburn is fully supportive of Molly’s plans saying “Hedgehogs have been classified as ‘vulnerable to extinction’ on the UK’s conservation Red List and roadkill is a contributing factor to hedgehog declines over recent years and studies have shown that their numbers are in serious decline.”
“Hedgehog roadkill is an issue in both rural and suburban areas. Cramlington has a high number of grassland areas throughout the town and a number of residents have been thoughtful in their care for these small animals.”
A spokesperson for Northumberland County Council said: “There is an official Hedgehog warning sign, but in order to install one, we first have to apply for special dispensation from the Department of Transport. Unfortunately, it is not something the county council can make a decision on. In order to get approval for the sign, we need to provide evidence of “significant concentrations” of hedgehogs and the local Wildlife Trust or a similar organisation would need to be involved to provide supporting information.”
“Molly is doing some great work to help protect an endangered species and we are happy to work with her and other stakeholders to try and gather the necessary evidence in support of an application”
“There is a website hedgehogstreet.org which people can log sightings of hedgehogs – dead or alive – and we’d encourage people to record any sightings as this can be used as evidence to help secure signage.”
Councillor Swinburn responded “I understand that permission needs to be granted for these signs, and I too ask local residents to register any hedgehog sightings, but I feel it is a shame that red tape is blocking the work of a young resident who is simply trying to protect this vulnerable species.”
Mark added “I congratulate Molly on the fantastic work that she does, she is an inspiration. I know that so many care both for our town, and also for nature, so hope that they can show support for this.”
In the meantime, Molly will keep on caring for the hedgehogs that visit her garden. She puts out water and black fly larvae for all her night-time visitors that currently include Pin, Goliath and Fred who chances his luck every night when he crosses the road to reach her garden.
As Molly says, “We are so lucky to have these little animals in Cramlington and I just want to do all I can to protect them.”
Pictured: Molly and mum Debby with their hedgehog hutches ready to receive more foster hogs and some of the little visitors at Molly’s home.