RSPB reveal homes for hedgehogs have become new top of the shops

Readers' news
Readers' news

People are buying three times the amount of wildlife products from the RSPB compared to this time last year, according to latest figures.

Bird food and nest boxes have always been huge sellers for the RSPB, but since the charity launched its biggest-ever campaign, Giving Nature a Home, sales of non-bird related products have seen an increase of 232%.

Homes for hedgehogs have been the RSPB’s biggest sellers, with sales more than doubling since last year. The popularity of the products could be linked to the charity’s award-winning TV advert, which aired over the summer and stars one of the prickly creatures.

But it’s not just hedgehogs people want to encourage into their gardens. A Mini Bug House for Insects and a Bat Detector both sold two-and-a-half times more than they did last year.

The charity’s biggest growth has been on the Ladybird & Lacewing Box, of which sales have almost trebled. Supporters have also purchased thousands of packets of seeds to grow plants which provide food and shelter for wildlife.

One hundred per cent of all profits is spent on conservation work to help save birds and other wildlife. Sales of just 24 different types of wildlife products have funded nearly £50,000 worth of conservation work in the past four months.

Sophie McCallum, RSPB’s south east communications manager, said: “These figures are great news – not just because these sales mean more money will be going into conservation, but because they prove people want to do what they can to help Give Nature a Home in their own outside spaces.

“Nature in the UK is in trouble and some of our more familiar garden species are amongst those suffering serious declines. Gardens provide a valuable lifeline for species like starlings, toads, hedgehogs and butterflies, which are struggling to find homes in the wider countryside, so it’s important that we all do our bit to try and provide a safe place for them to live, feed and shelter.”

Giving Nature a Home is the RSPB’s latest campaign, aimed at tackling the housing crisis facing the UK’s threatened wildlife.

The charity is asking people to provide a place for wildlife in their own gardens and outside spaces – whether by planting pollen-rich plants to attract bees and butterflies, putting up a nestbox for a house sparrow, or creating a pond that will support a number of different species.

The charity hopes to inspire people across the UK to create a million new homes for nature.

So far, 266,674 people have pledged to Give Nature a Home via the RSPB’s website.

In May, 25 wildlife organisations, including the RSPB, released the groundbreaking State of Nature report revealing 60 per cent of the wildlife species studied have declined over recent decades.

Many garden favourites were among the creatures shown to be in serious trouble including starlings, hedgehogs, some butterflies and ladybirds. All are in danger of further declines unless more is done to provide better habitats.

Sophie continued: “Although the overall problem is huge, the solution can start on a small scale, right on our doorsteps. It doesn’t matter what sort of garden you have, what size it is, or even if you just have a balcony or window box, everyone can do their bit by turning any outside space they have into a wildlife haven.

“So far, the support for this campaign has been great, but we’re still a way off our target of creating a million new homes for nature. And if there’s no home for nature, then there’s no nature – it really is that serious.”

The RSPB sells a range of products that can help you Give Nature a Home. From hedgehog houses to nest boxes, feeders to fat balls, and bug hotels to plant pots. 100% of the profit helps save birds & wildlife. Visit rspb.org.uk/shop For more advice on Giving Nature a Home people can visit one of the RSPB’s south east shops at Pulborough Brooks and Dungeness.

Report contributed by RSPB.