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Help the Hedgehog!

According to Worcestershire Wildlife Trust there are 95% fewer hedgehogs now than there were in the 1950s. Some experts predict they could be extinct in the next ten years. What can we do to help?

In the early part of last century, hedgehogs were abundant throughout Britain and why hedgehog numbers are falling so dramatically is not is not known for certain. It is thought more intensive agriculture and the loss of hedgerows has probably played a part in their demise. As too have smaller fenced gardens that prevent the hedgehog moving around in suitable urban habitats. They can travel up to 2km every night. There are also other predators of the 4 wheel variety with thousands of hedgehogs being killed by traffic every year. Badgers are a natural predator and hedgehogs will avoid areas where badgers are present. They can co-exist in an area where there is sufficient natural cover and plentiful foraging but unfortunately if they have to compete the hedgehog will be the loser.

How can we help?

• By helping providing what they need. Food to eat, safe places to sleep and hibernate and paths to move along.

• Leave some wilder spots in your garden, such as longer grass, log or leaf piles.

• Create a small hole in the base of a fence to allow them ease of access.

• Build a hedgehog home. Click here for more information.

• Leave places for hedgehogs to hibernate.

Finally don’t forget to watch out for sleeping hedgehogs before you set light to a bonfire or use a strimmer on long grass.

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