Marketing stars recognised for commitment to industry-first hedgehog campaign
17 Jun 2021

A Stafford-based marketing team are delighted to have received national recognition for their efforts in launching an industry-first initiative to protect hedgehogs in locations across the country. Louise Macrae and Olivia Edge, who both work out of Vistry Mercia’s regional headquarters at Dunston Hall, are thrilled to have won Vistry Group’s Sustainability Award for their commitment to the hedgehog highways campaign. The initiative was introduced at the beginning of last year, in partnership with the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, and the pair have been instrumental in ensuring its roll-out at not only existing and future developments locally but across the business as well. The hedgehog highways are small holes created at ground level in fencing and other barriers allowing for the creatures to roam freely between gardens and open spaces. Louise, regional marketing manager, said: “The Sustainability Award was important to us and it’s really nice to be recognised for what we’ve done. We’ve spent a lot of time on the campaign, which is still ongoing, and we’re so pleased to see the rest of the business rolling out the initiative at their sites.” “I feel really proud,” said Olivia, regional marketing coordinator. “I love hedgehogs and it’s been so rewarding being able to do something for the declining species.” Louise added: “Following a conversation with Hugh Warwick (wildlife author and ecologist), we’ve learnt other housebuilders have contacted him and jumped onboard. In effect, this campaign has influenced an industry.” Attributing the initiative as the pair’s “brain child”, Joanne Morrison, regional managing director, put forward their nomination. “When the campaign was first mentioned, I thought it was just the sort of thing that our region would love to get involved in,” Joanne explained. “Little did I know, after a company hedgehog competition and calendar, we had teamed up with the BHPS and hedgehog highways were popping up at developments across the country. Hedgehog Highways are now a massive part of Vistry Group’s ecological efforts for corporate social responsibility and our commitment has made us an industry leader in this area.” For Louise and Olivia, their passion for conservation goes beyond the office and Louise’s son Hunter, 4, has become a huge fan of hedgehogs as a result. “My son is massively into hedgehogs ?" he loves them,” said Louise. “He talks about them when we’re out on walks, even picking up pinecones and flowers ‘for the hedgehogs’. When it comes to launching our Bovis Homes development in Redhill, he’ll be supporting in a hedgehog costume! “Although we can’t build a highway in our garden, he’s been able to learn about hedgehogs through what we’ve been doing, which is great.” Olivia, who is currently participating in a fitness challenge in aid of mental health charity, Mind, said, “I’ve created a highway, so hedgehogs are able to come off the fields and into my garden. Now we’re in the spring months, I’d also like to build a hedgehog home and pop a plaque above the highway.” The hedgehog highways campaign was also shortlisted for ‘Best Community Initiative’ in last year’s Housebuilder Awards.

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