Did you know Britain’s only spiny mammal has around 6,000 creamy-brown spines on its coat? And we’re sharing this fact because it’s Hedgehog Awareness Week! Organised by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS), the week is host to hedgehoggy events across the country with the aim to highlight the problems hedgehogs face and how you can help them.
Research suggests we have lost over half our hedgehogs from our countryside since the millennium alone and have lost a third from our towns and cities, yet we can do a lot individually and within our local spaces to preserve their habitat and protect them.
BHPS Chief Executive, Fay Vass, said: “Hedgehogs are struggling and mostly that’s due to human activity, these small actions can help a great deal, a little effort from each of us could make life a lot easier for hedgehogs! If you don’t have a garden yourself, you can still help by contacting public space managers, neighbours, family and friends to ensure they are doing their bit.”
What can I do to protect hedgehogs?
Hedgehogs can roam on average around 2km every night in search of food and a mate and a large reason for their declining numbers is a huge loss of connectivity between green spaces due to gardens becoming more secure and isolated, and a loss of green space itself. Don’t worry, we’re not telling you to knock your fences down! Here are 8 simple actions we can take to help hedgehogs:
- Join over 7000 Hedgehog Champions across the country to protect hedgehogs in your local area
- Make a ‘Hedgehog Highway’ by creating a 13cm hole in your garden fence. Ensuring hedgehogs can pass freely through your garden is the most important thing you can do to help them.
- British gardens are becoming poorer homes for wildlife with increased paving, decking and reduced plant life. Protect and enhance your green spaces and consider creating a wild corner!
- Check areas carefully before mowing or strimming and stop or reduce your use of pesticides and poisons.
- Create an undisturbed log pile that will offer shelter and food and cover drains or deep holes.
- Build a Hedgehog Home.
- Cover drains or deep holes.
- With summer coming, leave out a dish of fresh water on hot nights.
We are proud to be a Bronze-certified Hedgehog Friendly Campus and encourage all of our community to get involved! If you’d like to help raise awareness of hedgehogs on campus, contact the Sustainability Team on Twitter, Facebook or email, or just let us know what you've been doing!