Beware of hedgehogs crossing the road!

By Louisa Jones in Local People

Vicki Oliver, founder of the Brockworth Hedgehog Rescue centre, has persuaded highways chiefs to put up warning signs on two main roads after almost 30 of the prickly creatures were run over over in the last 12 months.

Vicki, who started the rescue centre from her dining room and now has a fully-equipped hedgehog hospital in her back garden, is no stranger to dealing with sick and injured hedgehogs.

But her concern for the ones found on the side of the road already dead or needing to be put down due to significant injury has increased after 29 hedgehogs were lost in road-related incidents last year.

"When I started the rescue I began collating deaths on the roads because I thought if we had the data we would be more likely get something done about it" she said.

"Animal warning signs aren’t a new thing; we have deer signs, cow signs and even toad crossing signs but there has never been a hedgehog warning sign produced.

"Ermin Street has a 30mph speed limit but it is a very fast road. Shurdington Road is even more dangerous to wildlife and I don’t think drivers consider this when racing down there."

Vicki spoke to the parish clerk in Brockworth to find out what she needed to do and the new road signs will go up this week, six on Ermin Street in Brockworth and four on Shurdington Road.

"You can buy signs on Ebay but they aren’t road legal. People use them for private roads but they aren’t officially authorised so I had to go through the Highways Manager, who was happy with the idea,” said Vicki.

"The signs will go up until October which is our busiest time for hedgehog deaths so at the end of that period we will see if road-related deaths have reduced and if the signs are helping.

"I am hoping they can then be adopted in other areas with a high hedgehog population like Brockworth.

"Fingers crossed it will raise awareness among drivers and they will slow down."

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