Town council approves hedgehog warning signs

EDDC's countryside team are showing people how to help hedgehogs

Portishead Town Council has agreed to erect hedgehog warning signs in the town. - Credit: Archant

A community-led initiative in North Somerset has recorded a landmark victory to protect wildlife in the district alongside BBC Springwatch presenter, Beryl Casey.

Wild Portishead, founded in 2018, has been given the green-light by Portishead Town Council for the introduction of road signs in the district to notify drivers of hibernating hedgehogs and other small animals in the area.

Jonathan Mock from Wild Portishead at Slade Road field which is under threat of development, Pic

Jonathon Mock of the Wild Portishead group - Credit: Archant

The group, led by Chris Sperring, Jonathan Mock and Laura Porter, alongside Green Party councillor, Bridget Petty has previously criticised the criteria, set by the Department for Transport (DfT), which needed to be met before the signs were allocated.

MORE: Councillors slam 'ridiculous' criteria for wildlife road signs

A spokesman for the group said  "The process was mired in so much red tape and almost impossible to meet criteria that we approached Portishead Town Council who looked into the matter and agreed to install signs, at its own expense.

“This is a fantastic gesture and while we appreciate the town council’s investment in these signs, we, along with Beryl at Hedgehog Rescue North Somerset, are looking to crowdfund some more in the future to save on the town council's limited budget while we await changes to the DfT’s obstructive criteria."

One of the first signs will be installed at one of Portishead's fatality black-spots near Gertie Gale's allotments, opposite Gordano School.

Since the turn of the century, hedgehog numbers have fallen by 30 per cent in urban areas and have been halved in the countryside with hedgehog fatalities on Britain’s roads believed to be a significant component.

Organisers and volunteers selling toy and ornamental hedgehogs they have made.

Beryl Casey, left, photographed pre-Covid. - Credit: Archant

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Springwatch 2020 presenter, Beryl Casey, also known to residents as Hedgehog Lady, runs a rescue centre for the animals in Portishead.

Ms Casey said:  "I am thrilled to bits that hedgehog warning signs can now be installed at strategic places in the town that have been identified as hedgehog accident hot-spots.

"Let us all hope that these signs will make everyone aware these amazing little creatures need as much help as they can get as nobody wants to see these iconic animals become extinct."

If you find an injured hog or one that appears to need help then contact Beryl on 01275 848894 or take it to Vale Vets on Beach Road.

Wild Portishead can be contacted on Facebook by logging on to www.facebook.com/WildPortishead


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