To celebrate the opening of our 200th store, The Range has paired with The British Hedgehog Preservation Society, as well as our suppliers Mr Fothergill’s and Johnston & Jeff, to create areas around our stores where wildlife will be protected, preserved and encouraged. As a retailer who is well-known-for and very proud of our Gardening Departments, we know that we have some of the best knowledge, resources, and contacts for helping our local environments, so we want to put our skills to good use.
Alexander Simpkin, The Range’s CEO, has stated, “We take our environmental responsibility very seriously. Partnering with like-minded organisations, on projects such as this, as part of our store expansion programme ensures environmental efficiency. The use of LED lighting to reduce carbon emissions and Propelair Toilets to save water usage are just two examples of how we are creating more sustainable stores. We look forward to continuing working with the organisations involved to provide these rewilding spaces in our stores and invite customers to create similar areas in their own gardens.”
Each rewilded area will start in verges, grassy banks, and densely wooded areas around our stores, with each specialised area measuring up to 6m2 to provide a suitable habitat for plants, animals, and insects. Starting with the introduction of wildflowers and meadow grass, we will create the perfect environment for hedgehogs. The right wildflowers, such as lavender, dill, oregano, yellow mustard, and more will encourage the introduction of a plethora of insects, such as bees, butterflies, ladybirds, and caterpillars. Not just beautiful little bugs, these insects are vital to the continuation of our environment and wildlife. We will also be introducing bird boxes to the higher areas to draw in wild birds, such as blue tits, house sparrows, and redstarts. Again, these beautiful birds aren’t just cultural icons for our country but are incredibly important to keeping the ecological world full of life and variety.
One of the key elements of The Range’s Rewilding Project is to provide safe housing and protection for hedgehogs, one of the UK's most adored yet also vulnerable critters. While hedgehogs often use log piles, compost heaps, shrubs, or piles of leaves as their homes in the wild, you can provide them with something even more solid, stable, and safe. The British Hedgehog Preservation Society has provided The Range with advice on the perfect hedgehog houses for our rewilding project, and you’ll even be able to purchase a hedgehog house in-store or online so you can create the perfect little home for any hedgehogs that may visit your garden.
The Range’s Rewilding Project does not just focus on building homes for wildlife, but also aims to join up habitats by creating Hedgehog Highways; small gaps in the bottoms of boundary fences, allowing hedgehogs to travel freely through the environment. As hedgehogs can travel around a mile a night, connectivity is vital to their livelihoods, health, and happiness.
Fay Vass, Chief Executive Officer of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, has said that “It’s been great to support The Range with their rewilding project. Since the year 2000, hedgehogs have declined by half in the countryside, and a third in urban areas, which means this work is vital. There’s lots of information and tips on supporting hedgehogs available in stores and online now. Plus, you can create your own rewilding space in your garden as the products are available to purchase in-store and online.”
The Range’s Rewilding areas are now set up outside stores for you to look at, but make sure you don't touch and disturb any wildlife living there! You'll also be able to find collection boxes from The British Hedgehog Preservation Society in our stores, so you'll also have the opportunity to donate and support wider charity efforts in caring for hedgehogs.