Hedgehog Street, a joint campaign run by the People’s Trust for Endangered Species and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, is calling for more people across Britain to record sightings of hedgehogs for its BIG Hedgehog Map.
The ‘log your ‘hogs’ map will help to reveal for the first time which counties are recording the most (and least!) number of native hedgehog sightings, where ‘hogs are living, and where they are in need of most help.
To date, the top hedgehog spotting county is Hampshire with 1250 recorded sightings, followed by Oxfordshire and Greater Manchester with 803. The areas with the fewest sightings recorded include Bath and north-east Somerset, the Isle of Wight and Bristol. The heatmap also revealed that data from Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland is also very sparse.
Emily Wilson, Hedgehog Officer for Hedgehog Street says: “We’re so pleased that people across the country, from rural Hampshire to urban landscapes such as Greater Manchester, are actively recording sightings of hedgehogs when they see them. While the heatmap does not reflect actual hedgehog distribution, the more data we can gather, the better picture we have of where hedgehogs are located across the British Isles, which helps us to protect these beautiful but endangered animals.”
Emily continues: “A lower number or no sightings doesn’t necessarily mean there are less hedgehogs in the given area, but simply that we’re not being told about them. Therefore, we’re asking anyone who sees a hedgehog to record their sightings on the BIG Hedgehog Map – so if you’re lucky enough to spot one, please log your ‘hog!”
As well as logging sightings of hedgehogs, the BIG Hedgehog Map can also record when someone has made a hedgehog hole in or under their garden fence or wall – something Hedgehog Street strongly encourages people to do, as this allows hedgehogs wider access to food, shelter and mates.
To record sightings of hedgehogs, or to map a hedgehog hole, please visit: www.bighedgehogmap.org and to register as a Hedgehog Champion or for more information about hedgehogs, visit: www.hedgehogstreet.org.
Hedgehog photo credit: Brian Austin