Children take to the streets in Hedgehog March

Pupils from four schools start the march in East Street, Chichester
Pupils from four schools start the march in East Street, Chichester

CHILDREN from four schools marched through Chichester city centre yesterday to help promote the 20mph speed limit and wildlife protection.

The Hedgehog March saw around 100 pupils and staff take to the streets ahead of a presentation in the Assembly Rooms.

Children from eight schools designed and made more than 450 hedgehogs

Children from eight schools designed and made more than 450 hedgehogs

With them were a mass of cardboard hedgehogs, which the children had made as part of the project.

Chichester businesses supported the Hedgehog March by featuring a selection of the hedgehogs in their windows in the build-up to the big day.

Organiser Ana Mankiewicz, Chichester’s 20mph and Bike It officer, said: “The day was brilliant, with just over 100 children and staff taking part in the march.

“Three year-eight boys from St Philip Howard Catholic High School, Barnham, joined us for the walk and then gave a very eloquent presentation about why they wanted to raise the profile of 20mph and how the project had help them.”

Ben Lewis and Zach Taylor from St Philip Howard came up with the ideas behind the Hedgehog March.

Ben said: “When I joined the project, I thought we would make 30 or 50 hedgehogs. Seeing other people making hedgehogs makes me feel proud of what we have achieved. I’ve enjoyed working on the project.”

Zach added: “It took a very long time to make the hedgehog template but about an hour later it was done. I then emailed it to Ben and he added colour.”

The march also included year-two pupils from Jessie Younghusband Primary School, year-five pupils from Parklands Community Primary School and year-six pupils from Kingsham Primary School.

Sarah Hughes, community wildlife officer, gave them a presentation on some of the local wildlife, including the hedgehog, whose numbers are dropping. She also explained how people can help to protect them.

More than 20 businesses have hosted the hedgehogs since they started the march at the beginning of February, including ESP, The Riders Guild, Southbourne Co-op and COOK.

In total, 450 primary school pupils, ranging from year one to year six, took part from eight local schools.

The project was co-funded by Sustrans, the pioneer of the Safe Routes scheme, and West Sussex County Council.

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