Josh and I went out for an evening stroll after supper a few days ago. The streets were all very quiet in the residential area except when cars passed us occasionally – quiet enough to spot foxes twice, hurrying to hide.
Keen to reach 10k steps a day, we extended our walk and tried a different route. As I was striding off, Josh suddenly grabbed me to come to where he was. It was then when I saw ‘Hedgehog Highway’ first time in real life! I’d come across this sign on my birthday card cover, which I found adorable, and it really was sweet…
What is Hedgehog Highway?
Hedgehog Highway is a public road specially built for hedgehogs. Like the photo shows, you create a small hole at the bottom of the fence and put this sign on top. If someone asks “why should you make a hole in the fence?”, well, because these fences and walls, which are to divide borders between neighbouring houses, block safe paths for hedgehogs’ nightly journeys(*)! Border divisions are not these hedgehogs’ business (and other wildlife) but the artificial installations have critical impact on them; this is where the idea of Hedgehog Highway comes in.
To add a bit more, they could be living in a fairly nice environment if housing fences are made of pure hedges; as the species name ‘hedgehog’ implies, ‘hedge’ ‘hogs’ use hedges as shelters and roofs, well-covered passageways and foraging spots. Unfortunately, however, it seems nowadays a lot of houses use wooden panels or bricks to fence around their properties. Even if it looks like hedges, some hedge fences actually use wire mesh stands as a base. Due to all these unworkable combinations from hedgehogs’ perspectives, they end up getting lost with no way out… Or they have to risk crossing the dangerous road in the residential areas.
As this situation is far from promising for hedgehogs, I believe the Hedgehog Highway sign can at least inspire and encourage walkers – to make their homes a little more hedgehog-friendly, even if hedgehogs themselves won’t be able to read the letters on the sign.
(*) Hedgehogs can roam about 2km on average in a single night. Despite the small size, each hedgehog would require and appreciate a fairly large area for its activity! This also means they’re way more active than some of us (including myself) who can be happily stuck and lying in in the weekends… So ‘path obstructions’ must be really stressful for them! 🚧🦔
If anyone reading this lives in the UK and is interested in making your home hedgehog-friendly, I recommend HedgehogStreet.org and WidlifeTrusts.org for more information. 🏘️🏡💖🦔
↓ Learn more about hedgehogs with me from my visit to one of the hedgehog hospitals in the UK! ↓