Our prickly pals are being celebrated with Hedgehog Awareness Week.

People are being encouraged to take steps to ensure the safety of the animals.

The species has declined in numbers dramatically over recent years.

The British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS ) advises gardeners check areas before strimming or mowing and recommends the amount of pesticides are reduced.

The Hedgehog Awareness Week is organised by BHPS and lasts until May 10.

The organisation’s chief executive Fay Vass said: “There is so much the gardener can do to help hedgehogs, and with numbers in decline it is more important now than ever.”

People can do the following to help prevent the species’ decline:

  • Ensuring there is access into the garden of at least a 5in gap
  • Checking areas before strimming or mowing
  • Moving piles of rubbish to a new site before burning it
  • Keeping netting is kept at a safe height
  • Checking compost heaps before digging the fork in
  • Stopping or reducing the amount of pesticides and poisons used
  • Covering drains or deep holes
  • Allowing easy route out of ponds and pools.

Visit britishhedgehogs.org.uk

Send your best hedgehog pictures into News Shopper - with details of where in the News Shopper patch it was taken – to hwood@london.newsquest.co.uk