The world's first tiny holiday park for hedgehogs has opened in the North West in an effort to protect the creatures over winter.

The miniature caravan park will allow the hedgehogs to hibernate safely, after they were placed on the endangered species list this year for the very first time. 

UK Holiday booking provider Parkdean Resorts launched the initiative to protect hedgehogs living close to their caravan park in the Lake District, after it was discovered they were at risk of becoming extinct following a 98 percent decline in their population.

Lancaster And Morecambe Citizen:

Chief customer officer at Parkdean Resorts, Catherine Lynn, said: "Hedgehog's becoming endangered is a massive blow for UK wildlife and wildlife lovers.

"We wanted to do something big and bold to grab the nation's attention and encourage everyone to play their part in helping protect them from extinction.

"And what's more eye-catching than a miniature holiday park, designed and built especially for hedgehogs?

"We hope this world's first will inspire people to support our prickly pals at their most vulnerable time of year."

During the winter months, hedgehogs go into hibernation snuggling into bushes and woodlands putting themselves at risk of being attacked by wild animals, being exposed to the elements and choosing dangerous places like bonfires.

Because of this, Parkdean Resorts created the made-to-measure park, which features four snug caravan homes to hibernate in per holiday park; decking to enjoy the sunset; double glazing windows to keep the warmth in through winter; and a tight-knit community with neighbour hedgehogs next door.

A huge 98 percent of the UK hedgehog population has been lost in less than 70 years, which means hedgehogs are now endangered.

Their numbers in the wild are believed to have been around 30 million in 1950, dropping to 500,000 in 2018.

If current rates of decline continue, it’s possible that hedgehogs could be completely extinct in less than two years.

They hibernate in tight spaces in winter, and prone to being attacked by other wildlife and at danger of being caught in lawnmowers and other machines.

How can you help hedgehogs?

There are lots of simple, easy things you can do to help hedgehogs like:

• Creating your own hibernation hog hotel

• Making ponds safe with a ramp for them to climb out

• Not using slug pellets and harmful pesticides

• Creating hedgehog highways

To find out more about what you can do to support hedgehogs in the wild, see the full page on our site here.