UK HEDGEHOGS NEED YOU! Since 2000, UK populations of hedgehogs have declined 30% in urban areas and 50% in rural areas. Episode 17’s guest, Hugh Warwick, estimates hedgehog populations have dropped by 90% or more since the second world war. Based on these horrendous figures, we can deduce if we don’t start helping them right away, these beautiful animals could be facing extinction.
That’s where we, as gardeners, come in. In the interview Hugh talks about how we can encourage hedgehogs into our gardens and how we can best look after those who decide to share our space.
If you haven’t already checked out the show notes, you may find the following links useful:
Hugh is an ecologist and author with a particular interest in hedgehogs. He is a spokesperson for the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, runs the Oxfordshire campaign, HedgeOX and is a regular contributor to radio and television. He has written two books about hedgehogs. To find out more about Hugh, please check out the following links:
Books by Hugh Warwick
Hugh on Twitter: twitter.com/hedgehoghugh
One of the biggest challenges faced by hedgehogs is the lack of a coherent habitat. Adult hedgehogs cover approximately 2km in one night looking for food and at certain times, for a mate. Barriers are everywhere that prevent hedgehogs moving about freely; roads, fences, walls, etc. With more land being given over to residential and commercial developments, it’s more important than ever to ensure hedgehogs can continue to move freely and safely within the landscape and gardens contribute massively to creating a network of corridors.
If you think brick walls are a problem, think again! Hugh demonstrates how you can create a hedgehog corridor in your own garden boundary using some brute force and a 127mm drill bit. Watch how he does it here.
We also talked about Hedgehog Street campaign. The idea is to connect with your neighbours in order to champion the cause of the hedgehog within your own local environment. Who knows, you too could be hosting your very own hedgehog street party, complete with hedgehog bunting and cakes… www.hedgehogstreet.org
Hugh mentions the British Hedgehog Preservation Society as a fantastic resource for information, particularly if you’re faced with a sick or injured hedgehog. You can contact them here:
Telephone 01584 890801
Hugh also works with the People’s Trust for Endangered Species, an organisation which protects wildlife in Britain but also across the world. Everything they do is based upon scientific research, allowing them to engage in informed and important work across the globe. Their ongoing work encompasses species as diverse as dormice, bottle-nosed dolphins, asian elephants and Persian leopards.
Hugh mentioned some fairly terrifying statistics about hedgehog populations in the UK. To get an overview of exactly what our best-loved animals are facing in their fight for survival, check out the State of Britain’s Hedgehogs 2018 Report: Read here
He also recommended a book which I’ve added to my own, ever-growing book wishlist! Michael McCarthy – The Moth Snowstorm: Nature and Joy: Buy Here
Hugh’s project the HedgeOX campaign aims to help Oxfordshire’s hedgehogs, so if you’re in that region and would like to find out more about helping hedgehogs, you can check out their work too:
If you haven’t already listened to the episode, I thoroughly recommend it as not only is it packed with key information and practical tips for gardeners, it’s blooming entertaining too! Listen here.