A LEADING hedgehog preservation society is calling on East Lancashire to help give the species a boost.

With hedgehog numbers declining by 25 per cent in the UK in the last decade, The British Hedgehog Preservation Society is asking neighbours to get involved in its latest project.

Hedgehog Street, the society’s latest venture to help the prickly creatures, has been launched to encourage whole streets to rally together to create ideal hedgehog habitats in their communal grounds.

The scheme advises that people can do this by removing bricks from walls to allow hedgehogs, which can travel up to a mile each night, to roam more freely, leaving out meat-based cat or dog food, but not milk, or by building shelters.

Janis Dean, care manager at the Lancashire Hedgehog Care Trust, said she was very supportive of the charity’s scheme as county was seeing fewer hedgehogs.

She said: “This project is very important because the numbers are in decline - anything we can do now to help them is a bonus.

“We put lots of obstacles in the way and if it was not for manmade problems they would be ok.

“We see very few natural illnesses with hedgehogs, they are manmade, so it is man’s responsibility to put it right again.

“The more help we can give them, the better, and I would definitely encourage people to get involved.”

Fay Vass, chief executive of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, said: “Many problems hedgehogs face are down to humans, and if there was more awareness of how our actions affect the lives of our prickly friends, I am convinced that many hedgehog lives would be saved.

“Half an hour in the garden can help make it more hedgehog-friendly and make a big difference indeed.

“We urge people to sign up to Hedgehog Street to find out how they can help.”

For more information about making your street more suitable for hedgehogs, or to receive your Hedgehog Street pack, visit www.hedgehogstreet.org