Recent figures have shown yet another 10% drop in the Hedgehog Poluation in the last year, 30% since 2000.
Now being at Number 9 in the UK Endangered Species List it is imperitive that a major effort has to be made to help these numbers increase and bring about a rising healthy population.

One huge factor are new Housing Developments. Not only are they ‘stealing’ nature’s habitats away, they are restricting safe passages for our Hedgehogs through them.
It seems that 6 feet high fence panels are an essential part of these Developments; they give instant privacy and in a lesser degree, some security.

Hedgehog Unfriendly Garden
No way in and no way through forcing any Hog to detour and probably to danger

‘The Hedgehog Highway’ is a term brought about by The British Hedgehog Preservation Society and means just that – a route for Hedgehogs to go about their business, find safe places to sleep the night and hibernate through Winter.
A Hedgehog can travel over one mile a night looking for food, they are Nomads, so don’t have a full time residence outside of breeding, they are constantly on the search.

An enormous difference could be made by ensuring a passage through not only new Developments but through Estates or Residential areas where fence panels are in place.

Tunnel under Fence for Hedgehogs
Some Fence Panels have concrete bases – if so, almost anything can be used to make a little tunnel

ALL THAT’S NEEDED ARE A FEW 5″ (13cm) HOLES SAWN OUT AT THE BOTTOM and you’ve certainly paid a part into ensuring a future for our spikey friends.

Sure this is only a part of it and there are many more ways in which we can play our part, some of which can be found on the Garden Wildlife pages, one of the biggest being to leave at least one area of your Garden to run a little wild attracting not only Hedgehogs but Insects and Bugs on which they depend.

Channel 5 News 1st. March 2016

We have to make sure that our Children and their’s to come will marvel at the sight of these beautiful interesting creatures roaming around in a more acceptable habitat.

See also ‘Hedgehog Street’ and join in the Project!

‘A new Housing Estate surrounded by the Beautiful Kent Countryside’ the Developers often say ot thereabouts.
‘A new Housing Estate in the middle and eating up the Kent Countryside’ maybe more accurate?

Or ‘A new Housing Estate on the edge of the Kent Countryside but not for long because another Developers going to buy the fields next to you which will make you as annoyed as the bloke who’s writing this article’!

back of new houses

I see the need for new housing and for people wishing to live close by the Countryside and enjoying the benefits of a modern home with all the mod cons, but what really does upset me is that should they insist on such advertising, they should at least respect what the sountryside is and how important, if not more, it is to wildlife.

In this age of so many species being endangered, not enough seems to be done; the fronts of houses can look quite attractive, usually with no garden as such, then behind them lay the car parking spaces, in a concrete and brick maze and Gardens enclosed in 6 feet high panelled fencing.
All in all a sure fire certainty that wildlife will be severely diminished until some of the owners decide to make changes and attract birds, bees and other creatures.

Gardens two sided panels, one sided brick wall!


These pride of the Nation creatures are now one of the most endangered species in the UK and much of the reason lays with the fact they can’t get around as they used to. Gone are the hedgerows replaced with our ‘put it up quick’ fencing methods.

This can easily be rectified by putting 5″ holes in the fencing for them to get through (the ‘Hedgehog Highway’) but should that be down to the new owners? Can’t this be done by the Developers themselves, the cost would be minimum and good PR surely?

To be fair, some Developers are building new homes with suitable wild spaces within a complex, bird boxes under eaves, ponds and of the like, but too many aren’t – many exterior designs do compliment the countryside, but for many it’s build and sell’em quick.

New Housing Estate Road Names

Then come the road names, see just a few below.

The photo showing the car park spaces and brick walls are part of an Estate where we have ‘Wood Lane’, ‘Hawthorn Close’, ‘Acorn Close’, ‘Reed Crescent’ and more. At least plant a few of the said Trees and have a Pond where there are some Reeds!

More emphasis must be put into caring for our wildlife, we can’t just go on as we are. If we do our natural cycles will be disturbed beyond repair, species will die out and after all..

They can survive without us but we can’t survive without them!

“What do you want to be when you grow up”? a question often asked to all young boys and girls. Now the answer would probably be a member of a boy band or anything related to being a celebrity, but back in the 1950’s things were different, the reply from a boy would more than likely be a Train or Bus Driver!

Before the Beeching cuts of the mid 1960’s the railways were everywhere so it was not uncommon for anyone to live fairly close to a railway line.

Trainspotting was one of the most popular hobbies amongst young boys who would crowd the ends of platforms at whatever Station to record Steam Engine number’s in their Ian Allen books. I was there !

The Observer Book of Steam Trains
An old 1950s book of mine plus wearing my Ian Allen’s Trainspotters Badge

Sevenoaks was my closest Station. On weekdays I would walk the half a mile from my house to meet my Father off his commuter train, but getting there some one hour beforehand to record any numbers I hadn’t already got.
You were supposed to buy a Platform Ticket, but usually, if you said to the Ticket Inspector you were meeting your Dad, he’d let you through.
Weekends were different of course, I’d get down there after ‘Saturday Morning Pictures’ and park myself as far coast side of the downside platform as I could and wait for the thundering Boat Trains being pulled by Brittania Class locos, it was not uncommon for them to go past at 70mph plus, the vibrations would roar up your back, the smell of coal smoke and hot oil would enter your nostrils and stay there for a good two hours or more.

Being on the main London to Dover line, many Boat Trains would come through either heading for Dover Western Docks or Folkestone Harbour to link up with a Cross Channel Ferry.

During all School Holidays, every Thursday we would go to my Grandparents house in Tonbridge. My Grandfather and myself would walk accross the fields next to Judd School and join the railway lines at the Jubilee Sidings. There we would watch a few good shunting movements then stroll around the footpaths to watch from a bank next to the Station.
With it’s junctions for the Redhill and Hastings, more versatility was there plus at that time there was still a branch line from Paddock Wood to Goudhurst and further down the Hastings line, a junction for Bexhill.
Definitely never a dull moment.

So what was it about trains which tuned almost every boy on to them? I guess it has to be a number of things; the power, the noise, the smell and although we may not have said it, it was the romance, trains would pass you by leaving to your imagination what people were on it and where they were going to.

Video by Alan Snowdon

Having no Computers and not all having a TV Set even, the imagination of a child was different. I remember wherever I went on my bicycle, it would become my train; I had Stations at various points along my cycle route, some I’d stop at and patiently wait for the passengers to get on and some would be a thunderous roar non stop as I made my way to whatever destination I had in mind that day.

Nowadays you may see the odd Trainspotter on Stations but needless to say most of them are my age and if not, they have a reputation of being a Geek, or as we called it on the railway ‘GANGY’ (Green Anorak, no girlfriend yet).
You won’t see any young lads in a pack of 10 to 15 standing on the end of the Platform with their Trainspotting Books and Notepads in their hands; it’s not the done thing now and health and safety overkill would probably see them being moved on anyway.

Those were the days as they say, days when we made our own entertainment, lived around our imagination and still got change from a ten bob note !!

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