Can you help hedgehogs?I'll help hedgehogs
Hedgehogs are one of Britain’s most treasured animals, but their future is under threat
In February of this year, we published our latest State of Britain’s Hedgehogs report with our partner, The British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS), taking a closer look at hedgehog populations in the UK. Since the 1990s, rural hedgehog populations have declined dramatically, by up to 75% in some regions.
Hedgehogs in the countryside must cross open stretches of farmland, which leaves them vulnerable to predation and limits the number of invertebrates they can feed on. Hedgehogs have also suffered significant habitat loss: we have lost more than half our hedgerows—a vital habitat for hedgehogs—since the end of World War II, and the hedgerows that remain are threatened by inappropriate management. Other factors, such as poor soil management and lack of landscape connectivity, play their part in the rural hedgehog decline.
Britain is becoming a less hospitable place for much of its wildlife, and hedgehogs are no exception
But there is a glimmer of hope: though urban hedgehogs were in decline until 2013, numbers have stabilised since, with one study showing an improvement in urban and suburban populations over the past eight years. This trend highlights the importance of wildlife-friendly gardens, green spaces in towns, and neighbourhoods coming together to protect their prickly friends. It’s inspiring to see the impact of our joint conservation efforts.
However, there is still a long way to go. Collectively, we’re making hedgehogs’ lives unnecessarily hard by paving over our front gardens, installing impenetrable fences, and killing up to 250,000 on our roads every year.
We’re hopeful that we can turn things around for this iconic species, and with funding from our wonderful supporters, we’ve committed ourselves to fighting the hedgehog decline.
- We’re restoring and repairing hedgerows, which are vital wildlife corridors for hedgehogs and myriad other species
- We’re working with policy makers to ensure hedgehogs are regarded as a conservation priority
- We’re funding research into the hedgehog decline and finding solutions that will keep them safe well into the future
Can you make a donation to protect this beloved species?
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Image credits, from top: Miroslav Hlavko / Shutterstock.com, Kichigin / Shutterstock.com, Hugh Warwick, Martina Nowak / Shutterstock.com, Lauren Moore.