How do we protect the hedgehogs? By giving them their own vacation destination, of course.
Hedgehogs make for cute pets and wildly fast video game mascots, but they’re also officially an endangered animal. According to research conducted by booking provider Parkdean Resorts, this year marked the first time the cute, spiny creatures have been put on the endangered species list. The British population has shrunk from 30 million in 1950 to 500,000 in 2018.
That’s why Parkdean Resorts has launched a nationwide initiative to protect hedgehogs near their caravan parks as they go into hibernation. The solution? Create a miniature holiday park that’s just for the hedgehogs to enjoy. because little, spiky animals need a vacation, too.
“Hedgehog's becoming endangered is a massive blow for UK wildlife and wildlife lovers. We wanted to do something big and bold to grab the nation's attention and encourage everyone to play their part in helping protect them from extinction,” said Katy South, co-founder of Prickles and Paws, a rescue and rehabilitation centre for hedgehogs, in a statement. “And what's more eye-catching than a miniature holiday park, designed and built especially for hedgehogs? We hope this world's first will inspire people to support our prickly pals at their most vulnerable time of year.”
Between November and April, hedgehogs go into hibernation, usually in bushes and woodlands, which always carry a risk of being attacked by wild animals, being exposed to the elements, or other dangerous conditions.
Originally a local initiative at White Cross Bay Holiday Park in the Lake District, the hedgehog habitats are now expanding across the UK at all Parkdean Resorts. The tiny holiday parks include hotel lodging, walkways, little outdoor areas, and basically everything else hedgehogs need to hibernate in peace. The resort provider worked with UK hedgehog sanctuary Prickles and Paws to make it all happen.
Parkdean Resorts is also encouraging people to create their own, DIY hedgehog habitats at home, including creating safe “hedgehog highways” for the creatures to access their winter homes, and making hibernation boxes for them to sleep through the winter in.
For more information about the hedgehog habitats and instructions on how to make one of your own, visit the Parkdean Resorts website.
Andrea Romano is a freelance writer in New York City. Follow her on Twitter @theandrearomano.
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