Helping our Hedgehogs

All is not well for our Hedgehogs, but we can all do something to help

Hedgehogs are in trouble. The State of Britain’s Hedgehogs Report, released last week, shows that across the U.K hedgehog population have decreased by almost half since 2002. The threats faced by Hedgehogs range from intensive farming and road collisions, to slug pellets and predation.

The picture is more complex then it first appears. In rural areas populations seem to have declined markedly whereas in urban areas some populations have stabilised and may be increasing. Part of this likely to relate to habitat; with Hedgehogs increasingly being associated with the mix of gardens and green spaces found in urban areas and less so in intensively managed countryside.

Hedgehogs are one of the top ten mammals record in Wiltshire. Mammals of Wiltshire (published in 2017) found that they have been recorded in 16% of kilometre squares in Wiltshire and that this has stayed near constant since the 1990’s. Hotspots are around urban areas such as: Chippenham, Trowbridge, Swindon and Salisbury. This is likely to be a reflection of both habitat preference and recording effort across the county.

So what can be done to help our spikey friends? Thankfully there are many small actions that can help hedgehogs. Installing a hedgehog house or leaving a corner of your garden to go wild can help massively. The Hedgehog Street Website contain loads of information about these ideas and more. Another simple but important action is to send in any Hedgehog sightings to us, finding out where there are still Hedgehogs present in Wiltshire will help to protect them.

Over the next few weeks hedgehogs will be emerging from hibernation. So keep an eye out for them and let us know if you spot any.

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