Why this city suburb is now home to hedgehog signs

Ben Rayner, highway engineer, Ian Mackie, county councillor for Thorpe St Andrew, Jonathan Emsell, t

Ben Rayner, highway engineer, Ian Mackie, county councillor, Jonathan Emsell, town and district councillor, and his children Sophie and Ryan, Maria Zelia and Glenys Bailey with the new hedgehog warning signs - Credit: Danielle Booden

Drivers out and about in Norwich will now be able to spot new safety signs sporting spikey creatures. 

Dussindale has recently become home to six signs emblazoned with hedgehogs in a bid to increase awareness of the prickly creatures on the roads - and prevent any accidents with them. 

Thorpe St Andrew county councillor Ian Mackie has led the project following a consultation with people living in the area. 

Ryan and Sophie Emsell with the new hedgehog warning signs that are going up in Dussindale. Picture:

Ryan and Sophie Emsell with the new hedgehog warning signs that are going up in Dussindale. - Credit: Danielle Booden

Mr Mackie said: "During the pandemic many people have developed an increased awareness of the natural world around us, none more so than the little wild animals that share our precious planet and enrich our lives.

"Sadly, we have had a number of hedgehog deaths on our roads, so speaking with locals we have identified six locations for signage to help raise awareness and to encourage safer driving overall.”

There will be three signs in Dussindale Drive, and one each in Yarmouth Road, Eastern Crescent, and Hillside Avenue.

Researchers from Nottingham Trent University found up to 335,000 hedgehogs are dying each year on UK roads during a study last year.

Ben Rayner, highway engineer, and Ian Mackie, county councillor for Thorpe St Andrew, with the new h

Ben Rayner, highway engineer, and Ian Mackie, county councillor for Thorpe St Andrew, with the new hedgehog warning signs that are going up in Dussindale - Credit: Danielle Booden

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It comes at the time of the year when hedgehogs are often spotted in gardens before they go into hibernation.

Ahead of bonfire night people are being encouraged to check their bonfires for sleeping hedgehogs before lighting them.

The British Hedgehog Preservation Society has also warned people that, if possible, the entire pile should be re-sited before being lit.

The new hedgehog warning signs that are going up in Dussindale. Picture: Danielle Booden

The new hedgehog warning signs that are going up in Dussindale - Credit: Danielle Booden

If not then broom handles can be used to lift from the base of the pile. Torches can also be used to shine onto the pile, or people can listen carefully for any signs of life.

And Hallswood Animal Sanctuary, which is based in Stratton Strawless, has warned the number of prickly patients coming in for care has rocketed since the beginning of the pandemic.

This is partly due to more people venturing out into the countryside for fresh air after being cooped up indoors.

Those who come across an injured hedgehog are urged to contact a specialist group before trying to deal with the injured hedgehog themselves.

Cookie the five week old hedgehog held by Liz Metcalf at Hallswood Animal Sanctuary, Stratton Strawl

Researchers from Nottingham Trent University found up to 335,000 hedgehogs are dying each year on UK roads during a study last year - Credit: Copyright Archant Norfolk.


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