A survey has put the humble hedgehog at the top of the list of peoples favourite garden animals and also throws light on our attitude to garden animals.
The hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus
) has been named the UK's favourite garden creature in a survey by the RHS and The Wildlife Trusts for their joint project Wild About Gardens
. More than 2,000 people responded to the survey and almost all believed that 'gardeners should do more to support wildlife' and that 'gardeners can come to the rescue of species in decline'.
Simon Thornton-Wood, Assistant Director of Science & Learning for the RHS, said, "The most popular reasons given for choosing favourites indicates that people connect on an emotional level with wildlife in their garden"
. He noted that, "This feel-good factor can be a useful stepping stone to encouraging garden owners to take a more practical role in supporting biodiversity
". However, Mr Thornton-Wood also worried that the common tendency to single out 'entertaining' or 'pretty' animals might be " [...]leading people to ignore the importance or plight of other less attractive or 'entertaining' creatures such as spiders or stag beetles which are nowhere to be seen in the list"