The Norfolk coastal village of Winterton has officially become a hedgehog-friendly community.

The whole community worked to make a safe environment for hedgehogs, as part of a campaign combatting the recent decline in hedgehog populations across the UK.

This included projects like a boat builder making 18 homes for the hedgehogs to nest and hibernate, and installing tunnels to monitor their movement and favourite routes in the village.

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It also saw the facilitation of free movement of the prickly creatures by initiating the creation of hedgehog highways, 13cm holes in fences and obstacles, allowing them to make the most of garden habitats and forage freely.

Emma Punchard, chairwoman of the Winterton-on-Sea Parish Council Environment Group, said: "This is a brilliant project.

"Over 70 villagers have been involved, and we are delighted to have so many people come forward to want to make their gardens better places for wildlife, including hedgehogs."

According to the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, hedgehog numbers have seen a serious decline in recent years, dropping by an alarming 50pc since 2000.

Much of this has been down to habitat loss, pesticide usage and road traffic.

The parish council has also been tracking hedgehog sightings and evidence of their presence in the area, contributing to the nationwide Big Hedgehog Map project.

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The village initiative has received funding from the Norfolk Rivers Trust's Access to Nature project, which aims for a broader move towards a greener, more sustainable future for communities across Norfolk.

For more information about the Winterton initiative or to get involved with the village scheme email or call 07900 376462.