Living God's Love Values - Generosity, Joy, Imagination and Courage
Living God's Love Values - Generosity, Joy, Imagination and Courage

The People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) and British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) have called on the Church of England to support a new survey, launched on February 1, monitoring the decline of the British hedgehog.

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Working with Shrinking the Footprint, the CofEs national environmental campaign, the charities believe the CofE’s 10,000 churchyards could be natural homes for hedgehogs who will soon be coming out of hibernation.

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The Hedgehog Hibernation survey aims to find out more about the creature’s patterns of behaviour, which in turn will help inform practical conservation action. Hedgehog numbers in Britain are declining by three to five per cent each year in towns and in the rural landscape, with the loss most apparent in the South West, South East and Eastern regions of England, according to the results of a ten-year trend analysis by the charity.

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Judith Evans promoter of the Living Churchyard scheme for St Albans diocese said:?”There certainly seem to be far fewer hedgehogs around than there used to be. Like all animals hedgehogs need food and shelter both of which are likely to be found in the increasing number of churchyards which are managed in a wildlife-friendly way. The Living Churchyard scheme encourages the creation of compost heaps and log piles which as well as acting as a larder, contain slugs and other invertebrates providing shelter. ?It would be very encouraging to find evidence of hedgehogs in our churchyards, so I hope churches will take part in this survey,”

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David Shreeve the CofE’s national environmental adviser said: “Supporting this survey underlines the Church’s commitment to caring for creation, as spelled out in the Fifth Mark of Mission. Our 10,000 churchyards boast a wealth of wildlife and are hopefully home to a good number of hedgehogs.”

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“Continuous monitoring each year is vital to help us build a more complete picture of the state of the UK’s wild mammal populations. Churches collecting data from their churchyards – and other appropriate land – could be very helpful for our research,” said PTES CEO Jill Nelson .

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To join in the Hibernation Survey, which starts on 1 February 2013, visit http://www.hedgehogstreet.org

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NOTES TO EDITORS?* Five Marks of Mission agreed by Worldwide Anglican Communion

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To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom?To teach, baptise and nurture new believers?To respond to human need by loving service?To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation?To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth?(Bonds of Affection-1984 ACC-6 p49, Mission in a Broken World-1990 ACC-8 p101)

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  • PTES is a UK conservation charity created in 1977 to ensure a future for endangered species throughout the world. Working to protect some of our most threatened wildlife species and habitats, it provides practical conservation support through funding research and internships; providing grant-aid for world-wide and native mammals species’ conservation; supporting education, training and outreach programmes; and driving public participation via wildlife monitoring surveys, publications, campaigns and events. Priority species and habitats include the hazel dormouse, hedgehogs, beavers, noble chafer and stag beetles and traditional orchards and native woodlands. http://www.ptes.org
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