Hedgehog Street – Neighbourhood watch for hedgehogs

A new project, called ‘Hedgehog Street‘, is being launched by two charities to help stop the decline of the hedgehog population.

In 1995, the population of Great Britain was estimated at about 1.5 million

In 1995, the population of Great Britain was estimated at about 1.5 million

Two charities, The British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS)  and the Peoples Trust for  Endangered Species (PTES) have joined forces to carry out a three year project to conserve and research hedgehogs.

Local hedgehog champions are being recruited to create ideal hedgehog habitat throughout their street, estate or communal grounds.

A number of research projects are also being setup to find out more about the spiky mammal found in a declining number of British gardens.

Habitat and movement research will hopefully tell how hedgehogs move about the countryside and what features of farmland they like best. This will help provide guidance to farmers about how best to manage their land for hedgehogs

The project will also  fund work to detect hedgehog presence. Allowing a monitoring scheme to be set up across the country.

Decline in hedgehog numbers

In 1995, the population of hedgehogs in Great Britain was estimated at about 1.5 million (1.1 million in England; 310,000 in Scotland; and 145,000 in Wales).

Three surveys by the British Trust for Ornithology and PTES’ own surveys, Mammals on Roads and Living with Mammals, all indicate declines, in both urban gardens and the wider countryside.

The size of the decline is between 1.8 and 10.7 % each year. In just the first decade of this century, around a quarter of the population has been lost, according to these surveys.

Look out for sick hedgehogs

Hedgehogs forage in our gardens after daylight can can often be heard snuffling around for slugs at dusk, but if you find a hedgehog wandering around during the day, it is quite likely to be sick.

This poor little fellow had suffered a wound above his head and as a result, flies had laid eggs around the area.  He was promptly taken to the local animal rescue centre.

Further information

The State of Britain’s Hedgehogs report

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