Giving London’s hogs a helping hand
We are supporting intern Rachel to identify and protect hedgehog strongholds in our capital, before it's too late
Hedgehogs are seriously struggling across the UK. We know that they’re not doing well in rural areas. In urban and suburban parts of the country, there’s a mixed story. Further studies are urgently needed to save these remaining hedgehogs.
Last year we supported Rachel Cates in her quest to learn more about how hedgehogs are faring in southwest London. Her initial focus was to find the remaining hedgehog strongholds in our capital. Rachel and her volunteers searched for hedgehogs using camera traps, conducting surveys across London’s parks and greenspaces. Our cameras don’t just detect hedgehogs. They also allow us to assess the distribution and abundance of foxes and badgers, species that may help to explain the location of hedgehog populations in the city. Any new information we gather about these populations can then help us focus conservation efforts to ensure we protect them into the future.
This year Rachel is expanding her project, with surveys planned in several parks within Southwark Council, more in Barnes and further surveys in the Richmond area. Last year Rachel’s work on Barnes Common suggested that this area may be important for hedgehogs. Both foxes and badgers were also seen on camera, so it’s a good opportunity to study how the three species interact. We have planned a repeat survey of the Common, as well as greenspaces around it (such as the London Wetland Centre).
We hope to identify locations of hedgehogs in the wider area, which would no doubt establish Barnes as an important south London hedgehog stronghold. Efforts can then be focused to make sure these important populations not only survive, but thrive.
This project is possible thanks to our generous donors. Can you help us continue?