A national animal protection charity has revealed that Devon has the second most hazardous gardens for wildlife of anywhere in the UK. 

The RSPCA has shared that gardens with football nets or other netting can be dangerous to wildlife such as foxes and hedgehogs. 

This comes following the strangulation of a fox cub in a back garden football net, prompting the RSPCA to urge residents to check their gardens for hazards. 

According to the charity’s data, they received 1,798 calls in 2022 for animals tangled in netting. 

Devon was the second most prevalent area in the country for these incidents, with 117 calls, coming only behind Greater London (277). 

The RSPCA said that May is the peak month for animals caught in netting. 

Evie Button, RSPCA scientific officer, commented: “It’s really important that people understand how lethal football netting can be and how often these incidents happen - particularly at this time of year, when the curiosity of young, inexperienced animals gets them into potentially deadly situations. 

“We’re urging the public to help us spread the message -  remember to put your sports netting away after use and never leave it unmonitored, particularly overnight.

“It's great that people are getting out and enjoying the great outdoors and nature while having a kick-around - and we love to see that. But we would urge those using sports netting to remove and store all nets after their game and put any discarded or old netting safely in a bin. Any garden fence netting should be replaced with solid metal mesh and use wood panels as fencing instead of netting.”