Open Up Your Gardens! Hedgehog Conservation In The UK


I appreciate that there are many endangered indigenous species in the UK. As a keen herpetology enthusiast, it hasn't escaped my attention that the natterjack toad, for instance, is definitely a species in trouble. However, I would like to dedicate this post to another one of my favourite little guys - hedgehogs. 

Hedgehogs have been having a very tough time over the past 100 years and are now considered one of the most endangered indigenous species in the UK - so much so that studies claim they could be completely extinct by 2030. Reasons for such decline in their numbers can be attributed to many factors that when combined, make for a difficult environment for these little guys to thrive. From urbanisation resulting in a loss of habitat to pesticides eliminating their food, they were forced to move into our gardens. However, our gardens too prove to be challenging. Rat poison, strimming, mowing and even our fences have had a huge impact on their survival.  If you would like greater details on the studies mentioned, please visit the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) and The Wildlife Trusts websites. 

The purpose of this post is to bring a wonderful community support based project to your attention. The BHPS has been heavily funding a conservation project that aims to improve the areas that hedgehogs are found - for example, our gardens! The project is appropriately called 'Hedgehog Improvement Area' and asks that people help by simply making a five-inch hole in their fence to help hedgehogs move from one garden to the next. 

Just in case you have the crazy idea that this cause is not worthy of your attention, have a look at this video. How could you say no to that little face?!

Update (03/01/2018)

I have recently had a great guide pointed out to me and thought it was definitely worth a share! It gives a good insight into the many dangers faced by these little guys and what we can do to help them. The guide is extremely detailed and an incredibly good source of accurate information. Please read and share it with as many people as you can!