Hedgehogs need our help – become a hedgehog champion!
The hedgehog, often cited as the nation’s favourite animal, is facing a dramatic decline in numbers. Once a common sight around gardens and parks it is now becoming increasingly rare to catch a glimpse of this charismatic spiny mammal.
The People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES), a charity which has been running counts of hedgehogs for over a decade, believes there are now fewer than a million hedgehogs left in the UK, down from an estimated 2 million in the mid-1990s and 36 million in the 1950s. This dramatic decline has led to the hedgehog being listed as a UK Priority Species.
The reasons for this decline are complicated as hedgehogs face different pressures in urban and rural environments but some of the factors are thought to include habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, poor hedgerow management, road traffic and a decline in food sources due to increased pesticide use.
At Lee Ecology we have been recording any hedgehogs that we have encountered whilst out and about in Cornwall and Devon. During 2013 we recorded only four [live] hedgehogs, all of which were found in urban habitats.
The PTES and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) are running a project called Hedgehog Street , which encourages people to work on a neighbourhood level to create ideal hedgehog habitat throughout their street, estate or communal spaces. We have registered to become Hedgehog Champions and will be ‘doing our bit’ to give British hedgehogs a boost.
Lee Ecology is an independent ecological consultancy based in the South West and offers a range of ecological services in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset. We pride ourselves on our exceptional customer care, prompt delivery of work and attention to detail. Please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.