In early 2015 we at Willows launched the first National Strimmer Awareness Campaign 'Working Together' aimed at manufacturers and professional users of Line trimmers and Brush cutters.
Since then we have been working with local authorities, local and national contractors, groups and manufacturers in a National Campaign to raise awareness of the potential danger brush cutters and line trimmers more commonly known as ‘Strimmers’ pose to wildlife and especially hedgehogs.
Since the concept of the project it has involved many hundreds of hours of communication with organisations and is much more than just a sticker! It's a working partnership.
Our Working Together Partners include....
Over 150 Councils (directly and through contractors covering highways, amenity grounds and parks)
12 major National Contractors (covering many councils, parish councils, schools and businesses nationally)
3 Equipment Manufacturers
1 major housing trust with around 10,000 residents.
National Industry Training and Professional Membership organisations
1 Government, 2 Wildlife Trusts
We also have gardening writers, rescues and naturalists inc Simon King and Bill Oddie writing in support of our campaign and out thanks goes to them for helping us to raise awareness.
Why was this needed? Sadly we see first hand and treat in the hospital every year many serious, often life threatening and sometimes fatal injuries to hedgehogs. We also work for local authorities in our day jobs and I work in the parks environment and have to use this kind of equipment.
Please read on for updates, to see the organisations that we are proud to have working with us, for more about the project and how you can get involved.
The project has gained such momentum that we have had to dedicate multiple pages.
Please click the links below for more information.
News/Updates & Full list of Orgs- Working Together Organisations
Press Articles, Editorial Support: Professionals, Councils, Rescues, Naturalists- Voices for Voiceless
Main Campaign Homepage & Ethos- Working Together
Manufacturer Support- Manufacturer Awareness
See our Working Together Organisations Page for all updates & organisations working with us.
We are extremely pleased to announce that TLC Burleys who are already Willows Working Together partners are now rolling the awareness out to more depots and areas around the country.
This means that an additional 400 Strimmers will now be fitted with the Working Together Strimmer Awareness Warning Triangle and the awareness rolled out to more operators covering many more areas. Updates on the areas and organisations covered soon.
Mark Murphy from BBC Radio Suffolk and The Whole Hog Campaign, it's aim to make Suffolk the first 'Hedgehog Friendly County' helps back and promote the Willows Working Together Campaign.
(Click link below) Listen from 01:08:15
June 2016- We are extremely pleased to announce that BALI The British Association of Landscape Industries have joined our Working Together Campaign supporting us in raising awareness with professionals.
You can read more about this important partnership here..
May 2016- Burbage Parish Council are the latest Council to become partners of our National Working Together Strimmer Awareness Campaign.
More info here Hedgehog Awareness Scheme
The number of organisations and groups joining with us is growing and we are continually working to involve more groups, professionals and authorities.
Please contact us if you would like to help us make a real difference for hedgehogs by Working Together.
Willows Hedgehog Rescue based in Bromsgrove Worcestershire, an organisation dedicated to the Rescue, Rehabilitation and Release of native European Hedgehogs is now working with local authorities in a National Campaign to raise awareness of the potential danger brush cutters and line trimmers more commonly known as ‘Strimmers’ pose to wildlife and especially hedgehogs.
Willows hedgehog rescue apart from the rescue work spends a lot of time working to raise awareness of the issues faced by hedgehogs in the UK.
Many hundreds of hedgehogs every year are seriously injured, sometimes fatally by the use of ‘Strimmers’. Many hundreds of hoglets (young hedgehogs) are also orphaned by gardening activities where the sow hedgehog is either killed, injured or disturbed to the extent that she abandons her young.
Many rescues around the UK raise strimmer and gardening awareness but in early 2015 here at Willows we contacted as many Line Trimmer and Brush Cutter manufacturers as they could asking them to include awareness information in manuals and to include a wildlife warning triangle on the products.
Of the manufacturers that replied including Stihl GB, Bosch UK and Makita UK none felt able to be able to implement these seemingly simple changes. However all of the three aforementioned companies did join with Willows in raising awareness through social media and Makita went a step further including awareness through newsletters and brochures which is a great step forward in raising awareness of this serious issue to ground nesting wildlife’. Further details can be found on our Manufacturer Strimmer Campaign Page.
We have now taken the awareness campaign one step further and are working with Councils, Contractors and Housing Trusts Nationally to help raise awareness with their users of the equipment. We recognise that councils and their contractors are large scale users of strimming equipment and maintain large expanses of hedgerow and verges in and around our towns and cities. These areas provide important habitat for hedgehogs and while leaving areas wild is preferable for wildlife where they do need to be cut operators need to be aware of the potential danger for wildlife if the area is not checked first.
Since the launch in early 2015 the response has been amazing and we are extremely pleased to be working with so many organisations. The partnerships do not end after the first year of signing up and every organisation will be constantly liaised with to ensure that training and awareness are ongoing and any support needed will be given by us here at Willows.
Our aim is to make all operators aware of the danger that strimmers can pose to wildlife and especially hedgehogs. Danger that can be avoided by simply checking the area to be cut before working. Hopefully by attaching the wildlife warning labels to equipment and by the inclusion of awareness in operator training etc we will be able to reduce the number of hedgehog casualties. We have previously contacted the manufacturers of line and brush cutters to ask for a wildlife warning symbol on equipment and ultimately we would like to see manufacturers of the equipment take on board the awareness and to include the wildlife aware triangle on equipment as part of the manufacturing process along with the other standard health and safety warning labels already included. Until then our aim is to offer to supply organisations that agree to help raise awareness our self designed warning labels that they can retro fit to equipment.
Willows Hedgehog Rescue are extremely pleased that so many local authorities have responded positively and partnered with us to safeguard ground nesting wildlife. All organisations involved implement our wildlife aware warning triangles on equipment, display awareness materials in depots and office and include our wildlife aware information in operator training.
‘Rescue is very important to us however our ultimate aim is to try stop the accidents happening in the first place and awareness is key in working towards this’. ‘We are extremely grateful to the organisations that are working alongside us and we hope with both these and the manufacturers help we can have a positive impact on reducing avoidable strimming injuries to wildlife and hedgehogs.
Photo: Birmingham City Council Deputy Leader Cllr Ian Ward putting the first Awareness Sticker in place
We are working hard to roll this awareness out across the UK with as many authorities as possible.
If you are a local, City or County Council and would like to participate in this project to raise awareness and safe guard wildlife please contact us at:
We will supply the industrial waterproof wildlife aware triangles for operator equipment, awareness posters for depots and hand out leaflets. We will also add your details to this page as helping us to help hedgehogs in the UK.
All content copyright Willows Hedgehog rescue 2015
working to raise awareness of the plight of the UK's native hedgehog
**Wolverhampton City Council & Wychavon District Council raising awareness but but due to contracted services unable to implement wildlife aware stickers on all equipment.