Hedgehog numbers are falling and a recent report revealed that the population of the nation’s favourite mammal has dropped by an alarming 50% in the British countryside since 2000.
Hedgehog Street, a joint campaign run by the People’s Trust for Endangered Species and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, has now released a free guide to helping hedgehogs in our towns and cities.
The illustrated booklet is aimed at those involved in the management of both public spaces and private land, including parks, schools, churchyards and recreational spaces. The new guide offers information on the different ways land can easily be made more hedgehog-friendly and also includes advice about a hedgehog’s year and life cycle, to help increase understanding of hedgehog hibernation.
Emily Wilson, Hedgehog Officer at Hedgehog Street says: “Even though hedgehogs are listed as a UK ‘Priority Species’ under the NERC Act 2006, there’s no current legislation addressing the causes of their decline. In order to help support wild hedgehog populations in both urban and rural areas, and ultimately halt the ongoing decline, we need to change the way we manage our land.”
“Small management changes can dramatically improve areas of land for hedgehogs and other species, potentially reversing the dramatic decline we’re seeing and also enriching biodiversity more broadly. The decline of hedgehogs in our towns and cities appears to be slowing, but we have still lost around a third since the millennium. We want to work with managers of all types of urban green spaces and encourage them to make those few changes to land management practices that will help to bring hedgehogs back to the urban landscape – making hedgehogs a common sight once again.”
Created with the help of the Suffolk Wildlife Trust, the new hedgehog guide can be downloaded for FREE from: www.hedgehogstreet.org/hempguide.
Hedgehog Street was set up in 2011 to encourage people to make small hedgehog-friendly changes in their own gardens. To date, over 60,000 volunteer “Hedgehog Champions” up and down the country have registered to help.
Main image: Native hedgehogs in garden drinking from the pond – Jean Nichols, Hedgehog Street