Warning issued after hedgehogs ‘maimed’ in branchage strimming

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A CHARITY has called on Islanders to be careful when strimming ahead of this year’s branchage, after receiving an influx of ‘maimed’ hedgehogs – most of which have had to be put to sleep.

Landowners and occupiers have already started cutting back vegetation overhanging roads and paths in the run up to this year’s branchage, which starts on 24 June.

The Jersey Hedgehog Preservation Group said they have become ‘increasingly concerned’ in recent weeks by the number of hogs being admitted to their Waterworks Valley headquarters.

Group volunteer Gill Morgan said: ‘We are urging the public to please remember that the overgrown banques, hedgerows and fosses, and leafy trees provide homes to our birds, mammals, reptiles and insects.

‘The housing shortage in Jersey extends to nature as the need to build more homes has meant a further loss of habitat for our precious wildlife.

‘If you are intending to strim please check in the long grass and under hedges for sleeping hedgehogs and other wildlife before you cut, strim or mow. Use your boot, a gloved hand, a rake or a stick to gently move any creatures out of harm’s way.’

She added: ‘Unlike some other mammals, hedgehogs do not run away when disturbed, but instead curl up in a ball, which is no defence against a strimmer.’

Ms Morgan said they were ‘becoming increasingly concerned by the influx of injured and maimed hedgehogs being admitted to the group’s headquarters in Waterworks Valley, particularly due to strimmer injuries, which could have been avoided with a little forethought’.

She added: ‘Sadly, most of these injured hogs have had to be put to sleep as their injuries are so severe,’ she added.

At this time of year, hedgehog mothers are nursing their hoglets and if they are killed or injured, or the nest is disturbed, the babies are unlikely to survive, which the group said added to the already declining Island population of hogs.

Any Islander who finds an injured hedgehog should contact the group on 734340, or contact them via their website: jerseyhedgehogs.co.uk

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