Vistry’s Hedgehog Highways roll-out
Vistry’s Hedgehog Highways roll-out helps to reduce numbers taken in by wildlife centres
Vistry Group is playing its part in working towards reducing the number of hedgehogs needing to be taken in by wildlife rehabilitation centres.
Vistry joined forces with the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) and launched a Hedgehog Highways campaign in 2020 – as part of its wider sustainability agenda – to install 13cm highway holes at all existing and future developments where possible.
To coincide with Hedgehog Awareness Week (1st-7th May), Vistry colleagues visited the housebuilder’s Bovis Homes and Linden Homes Oaklands location in Hardwicke, Gloucestershire, where the highway holes are proving popular with home owners.
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Emma Sueref, Vistry sustainability and new business manager, said: “Vistry Group is proud to be supporting the BHPS – in 2020 we were the first housebuilder to launch a commitment to include Hedgehog Highways on all our developments where safe to do so. We’re delighted to say we’re delivering on this commitment across the country from Cornwall to Yorkshire.
“This Hedgehog Highways initiative connects to Vistry’s wider group sustainability strategy enhancing the ecological value of our sites. By supporting hedgehogs, we’re supporting the wider eco system – the highways, while aimed at hedgehogs also benefit many other small creatures and help them stay around for longer.”
Craig Doyle, site manager at Oaklands in Hunts Grove, added home owners were always keen to hear about Hedgehog Highways and the positive impact they were having during ‘Meet the Builder’ sessions before they moved into their properties.
“The Hedgehog Highways are easy to install as they are a small hole at the bottom of fences, which are marked up with a sign for home owners,” Craig said. “During our Meet the Builder interactions, we explain the importance of the highways and the effect it has on the local environment, and we always get a positive reaction.”
Meeting with Vistry colleagues at Vale Wildlife Hospital and Rehabilitation Centre in Beckford, Worcestershire, Hugh Warwick – a spokesperson for the BHPS – said Vistry had taken the initiative as a housebuilder in supporting hedgehogs. The centre takes in around 1,500 hedgehogs every year.
Author and ecologist Hugh, who is a patron of the hospital and rehabilitation centre, said: “We’re so thrilled Vistry Group actually jumped at this opportunity to become the first of the developers to commit to making Hedgehog Highways a part of developments.
“This is great for hedgehogs but also great for places like Vale because it means they hopefully have fewer hedgehogs coming into them each year. One of the best places for hedgehogs to be able to thrive, is gardens – they’re an amazing habitat for hedgehogs.”