A FUN day was held to celebrate Bridport being the first Hedgehog Town in the UK.

It was awarded the status by the Dorset Mammal Group and an event celebrating everything about the prickly creatures was held in the Community Orchard and St Mary’s Church Hall on Saturday, April 19.

Organiser Rose Luckman, pictured, hopes those who attended the event will be inspired to help hedgehogs by finding out how many live in the town, where they go and even linking their gardens together with hedgehog tunnels in walls and fences.

She said: “It was very well attended and everyone was very interested in how they can help hedgehogs.

“A lot of people signed up to our initiative to research how many hedgehogs there are in Bridport and how far they roam, so hopefully this is something we will get up and running soon.”

The event included information stands about hedgehogs and other wildlife, but also children’s activities such as biscuit decorating and a raffle.

Rose said: “Hedgehogs roam through as many as eight gardens each night gobbling up slugs and nasty beetles, and the males will go even further in search of females.

“We wanted to teach people how to make their gardens hedgehog friendly and make safe places for them to rest up over winter.”

The number of hedgehogs has declined drastically in recent years and the Dorset Mammal Group decided to make Bridport the first Hedgehog Town in the UK to educate the public about the popular animals and how to help them survive.

According to hedgehog experts, one of the most important ways to help the creatures is to not use slug pellets, which can not only kill them if ingested, but harms their food supply.

Rose added: “They’re quite curious creatures really because they tend not to run away and rely instead on their spikes as a defence.

“So they are easy for people to watch as they go about, hunting slugs and insects to eat, which is, I think, why they are so popular.”