Staff from West Oxfordshire District Council’s grounds maintenance contractor Ubico is being warned to watch out for some prickly customers.
All strimmers at the Witney depot have been given special labels telling operatives to check areas for hedgehogs before using the equipment.
The labels have been supplied by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) as part of an ongoing campaign which will also see the launch of Hedgehog Awareness Week running from 30 April to 6 May.
Ubico has now been added to the BHPS roll of honour in recognition of its pledge to keep a sharp eye out for the creatures as they awake from hibernation.
Environmental Operations Manager Bob Lightfoot said: “Hedgehogs have declined in numbers in recent years because their environment is under threat from a wide range of factors including the use of equipment such as strimmers.
“They are fantastic creatures and deserve our protection so we must do everything we can to ensure they thrive in West Oxfordshire. Signing up for this campaign is just one way of doing this.”
BHPS Chief Executive Fay Vass said: “Every year we receive lots of reports of hedgehogs coming into rescue centres with horrific injuries caused by strimmers and many don’t survive.
“We have been delighted with the response to this campaign and thank Ubico for getting involved.”
For more information on how to get involved with Hedgehog Awareness Week and the BHPS, see http://www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk