The annual celebration of garden wildlife hosted by the RHS and The Wildlife Trusts has joined forces with Hedgehog Street this year to highlight hedgehogs.
Chris Beardshaw, RHS Ambassador for Community Gardening and patron of British Hedgehog Preservation Society, said:
"As gardeners, we often forget that that the garden is a refuge for our smaller visitors, many of whom have directed and influenced our appreciation of the outdoor environment. Thanks to starring roles in children’s poetry and prose, the likes of bats, owls and squirrels have all played a part, not just in opening our eyes to our gardens and landscape, but as a major connection to our childhood.
"Some of these distinctive creatures are in decline, in particular the hedgehog - a curiously shy creature which asks very little of gardeners. In fact they even allow us to be a little untidy as they use the leaves and logs for habitat and in return they will munch happily on the molluscs ravaging our favoured plants.
"When we are tending our gardens please give some thought for the residents and visitors who can benefit from our green spaces and reward us in so many ways."
Research by People’s Trust for Endangered Species shows that hedgehogs have declined by 30 per cent in the last 10 years alone and there are now thought to be fewer than one million left in the UK.
To help encourage people across Britain to think about how to make their gardens, schools and community spaces hedgehog-friendly, this year’s Wild About Gardens Week will be a call to action and a celebration of the hedgehog, with events, competitions and other opportunities to get involved. This will include:
A national call to action to create hedgehog holes in fences. At RHS Garden Harlow Carr, a new garden will be launched in participation with Hedgehog Street, showcasing hedgehog friendly planting and design.