PEOPLE across the region have fallen in love with hedgehogs and are providing homes for the prickly creatures.

Bosses at the RSPB say the charity’s purpose-build hedgehog shelters are a big hit with the public and are now its top-selling product with sales doubling in the last year.

It has also seen an increase in sales of mini-bug houses for insects and bat detectors and the charity says that since launching its biggest ever campaign – Giving Nature a Home in June 2013 – sales of non-bird related products have increased by 232 per cent.

Sales in ladybird and lacewing boxes have almost trebled too, say the RSPB, which has pumped £50,000 into conservation work during the last four months.

The charity is asking people across the south east to provide a place for wildlife in their own gardens and outside spaces by putting up nestboxes or planting pollenrich plants to attract bees and butterflies and where possible provide a garden pond.