A CAMPAIGN leaflet sent to more than 120,000 homes across Dorset aims to raise awareness of the decline of hedgehogs.

The spiky creature is one of the UK’s best loved garden visitors and Dorset Wildlife Trust aims to alert residents to its importance.

Working with local illustrator David Burton, the story of Horatio the hedgehog is intended to inspire people to help support the declining population by making small changes, such as providing compost heaps to create shelter and food.

Bournemouth Echo:

James Haldane, DWT membership manager, said: “For many, spring is a great time of year to be outside gardening. Hedgehogs will be coming out of hibernation and need all the help they can get, so we’re asking everyone to garden with wildlife in mind and give hedgehogs a helping hand.

“We’re delighted to be working with David Burton, who has really brought this campaign to life with his fantastic illustrations.”

David said: “I was really happy to help illustrate this project, and it was great fun sketching Horatio’s journey through the modern world.

“I’ve only seen one hedgehog in our garden in the last two years. It trundled through looking for food in the leaf piles as it went. I’d love to see more hedgehogs in the future, and by supporting Dorset Wildlife Trust, there’s a good chance that will happen.”

The new leaflet will be sent out today and provides tips on how to help the vanishing species. It also points out that in 10 years a third of hedgehogs have disappeared in the UK.

  • DWT members receive a free copy of The Wildlife Gardner by Kate Bradbury. For more information about supporting the trust visit dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/join or call 01305 264620.