HEDGEHOGS are endangered in the UK, and Portland is doing something about it.

Hedgehog enthusiasts on Portland are urged to attend a free talk and slideshow on Wednesday, May 3, at the Heights Hotel, to find out how to create a more hedgehog friendly island.

The meeting, organised by the Dorset Mammal Group (DMG), is part of annual Hedgehog Awareness Week which runs from April 30 to May 6.

DMG are aiming to reverse the falling numbers of hedgehogs in Dorset.

Portland have a local co-ordinator and will join other towns in Dorset such as Bridport, Piddletrenthide, East Stour, Halstock, Sherborne, Blandford, Drimpton, Beaminster and Dorchester, to become hedgehog friendly.

At the meeting, hedgehog lovers will get the chance to look at photos of hedgehogs and other mammals, as well as displays and information on how to help hedgehogs thrive on Portland, with a map to plot where they have been seen.

Hedgehog Awareness Week is organised by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) , and aims to highlight the problems hedgehogs face and how residents can help.

A spokesperson from BHPS said: “Every year there is more involvement with social media activity.

“It’s about raising awareness. Hedgehogs have declined by a third in urban areas, and by a half in rural areas since 2000.

“There's lots of little things that people can do to make a difference. We hope to keep up the interest and the great support that we get, and we have help from celebrities too.”

The BHPS boasts celebrity patrons such as Ben Fogle, Sir Ken Dodd and Twiggy Lawson, amongst others, to help raise awareness for the cause.

DMG suggest residents make holes under their garden fences and walls for hedgehogs to pass though in their quest to find food and a mate, as they travel around one mile every night. They also encourage that some areas be kept less tidy and more natural to provide shelter for the hedgehogs.

The meeting will start at 7:30pm. More information about the DMG can be found at https://dorsetmammalgroup.wordpress.com