The Hedgehog Project

The Hedgehog Project                                    Begins 2020 

The European Hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) population in the UK has declined by a third in towns and cities and a declining since the 1950's when valuable habitat began to decline; most notably hedgerows across rural communities and gardens becoming smaller, securely fenced and walled, with many people abandoning gardens all together in favour of paving. This all creates less suitable habitat for hedgehogs, and often forces them into unsafe areas and onto roads. 

Read more here; STATE OF BRITAIN'S HEDGEHOGS 2018

It is now the lucky few who get to enjoy seeing hedgehogs in their gardens, and we'd like to hear from you if you live in Bedfordshire and have seen a hedgehog in your garden!

 

Our garden spaces make up half a million hectares across Britain, which is why the HedgehogStreet scheme was set up to improve habitats and access to those habitats, as well as removing threats to Hedgehogs by residents in their local area. 

The survey will start in 2020 with records being collected by citizen science methods - anyone who has seen hedgehogs or signs of hedgehogs in their gardens, local parks, street can complete a record on this page, so we can map the abundance of the counties population.

 

Methodology: 

  1. Using the records submitted we will identify areas with, and without hedgehogs. 

  2. Monitor the sightings over time to recognise population trends and any issues. 

  3. Create safe zones for hedgehogs where residents clear up hazardous litter, make ponds safe for hedgehogs and creating small holes in fences to create habitat corridors. 

  4. Identify areas suitable for potential re-introductions, assessing areas where it is suitable to release rescue hedgehogs. 

 

Please complete a form even if you haven't seen a hedgehog or any signs of, but have implemented the 'hedgehog safe zone' methods to encourage hedgehogs in your garden. 

Identifying Hedgehogs and their signs 

The UK only has one sub/species of Hedgehog, and nothing else looks like them! So you WILL know when you've seen one! Recognising the signs of presence is a little more tricky, so we've made a guide for you! 

Buy a hedgehog survey tunnel with British Mammal Guide from NHBS here so you can survey hedgehogs in your area.

Size: head - tail approx 160-320mm. 
Weight: Up to 2kg at heaviest autumn season. 
Colour: brown/grey, dark snout, with lighter spikes and underside. 
Ears: small, on top of head. 
Eyes: dark, round and small. 
Legs:mostly hidden under spikes, thin and delicate. 
Droppings: 15-50mm length, brown, black or blue varying shades dependant on diet, can normally see small insects, distinct. 
Footprints: 5 toes, a cute little hand print! 
There's no other British animal you can confuse for a hedgehog! If it's spikey you've got one! :) 

How you can help Hedgehogs with these helpful guides from PTES  

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© 2017. Bedfordshire Mammal Group.                                                                                                    Website designed and updated by Dominique Rhoades 

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Dominique Rhoades

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