My graduate collection focuses on four endangered or declining species in the UK woodlands and nearby, the red squirrel, the hedgehog, the European hare and the dormouse. The pattern collection includes some placement pieces and repeat patterns, the diet, habitat and lifestyle of each animal was researched into and the foliage, plant life and food represented in the patterns reflect that. This collection’s patterns are designed for giftware and lifestyle products.
The Red Squirrel has been in decline rapidly in recent years in the UK largely due to the introduction of greys in the 1870s. The greys not only compete for food, but also carry a disease that seems to kill reds but leaves greys unaffected. Red squirrels actually come in a range of shades and can appear quite grey to redish colourings but are mostly known for their long ear tufts and fluffy tails. If you want to learn more, press the button below to go to BritishRedSquirrel.org.
The hedgehog used to be a very common sight in the countryside, and even our own garden but loss of habitat to name one thing has impacted their numbers in recent years and a third of the population has been lost since 2000. Hedgehogs are a species that you can encourage in your own garden, you can build a hedgehog feeding station or leave wilder parts for them to thrive. If you want to learn more about the hedgehog and its conservation, see hedgehogstreet.org.
The European Hare is unfortunately a species that can be hunted throughout the whole year, they are the only game species in the UK without a closed season, which means their population has suffered a fair bit. Hares like grasslands and farmlands particularlyand edges of woodlands where they can hide from predators, such as foxes. Again, you can learn more about the species by clicking the button and going to the Hare Preservation Trust, where you can read about the animals, their habitats and projects to keep them going!
The hazel dormouse is actually extinct from a number of counties in the UK, and conservation work is in place to reintroduce the animals into these places and promoting good woodland management to help keep them going. These can include planting and managing current plants, but also building dormouse bridges across new roads or busy areas. Learn more about this below with the People’s Trust for Endangered Species.