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The shocking decline of Hedgehog Population in the UK

Hedgehog numbers 1950 = 36 million. Hedgehog numbers 2013 = 1 million

Hedgehog at night
Photo - Down the Lane

The rapid and scaring decline in the UK's Hedgehog population can be put down to many things.

1. Road Building

The 1950's and 1960's saw many new Roads and Motorways built and this affected the Hedgehogs natural instincts for travelling distances in search of food.
Quite simple really, more road deaths occurred and numbers started to fall.

2. Fields

As Farming technology progressed to meet the demands of the rising human population, fields became bigger thus reducing the amount of Hedgerows.

3. Building

More Housing Estates with enclosed panel fencing not allowing Hedgehog through traffic, more Business Parks creating less green.

4. Gardens

Hedges have been replaced with fencing in many gardens and without some entrance and exit through them, the 'Hedgehog Highway' comes to an end.
Gardens have become 'too tidy'

hedgehog unfriendly garden
No way in, no way out

5. Slug Pellets

This is a growing concern. More people care for their Flower Beds and Vegetable Gardens and Slugs are a predator to success. By killing one creature because they are a nuisance only helps us - it does not help the food chain of nature ie. Kill all flies and you're effectively killing all Spiders as well.

6. Netting

Hedgehogs can easily get tangled up in any garden netting.

7. Elastic Bands

This may seem strange but there are countless cases of serious injuries or death where Hedgehogs have got tangled up in them. I regret that a minority of Postmen can sometimes leave these around.

8. Lawnmowers and Strimmers

An obvious one really. A Hedgehog surviving the above is a rare event.

9. Ponds

Hedgehogs need water like any other creature and likely to find a Pond and go in. They can swim, but need a way out. Building a rock 'ramp' will prevent them drowning.

10. Bonfires

If you slowly build up a bonfire, the bottom will become quite a warm dry place, ideal for Hedgehogs to nest. Lighting a bonfire could be saying farewell to yet more Hedgehogs.

11. Predators

About the only predator the Hedgehog has is the Badger. Once upon a time they lived together well apparently, but as Badger's found it increasingly hard to find food, some have turned on the Hedgehogs.

Join the Hedgehog Preservation Society. The Society is a great non-profit Organization. Becoming a Member compared to some Charities is surprisingly cheap and they will send you much information in their welcome package.
You can 'like' them on their Facebook page.



This picture below shows some cut down tree branches and bush which have created a great over day stopover or even a permanent home for Winter and Spring breeding.

The hole you see is around
4" - 5" so too small for a Rabbit and too large for a Rat.

If you see something like this around your bonfire or compost heap, bear in mind there could be an endangered species Hedgehog in there.

Hedgehog hole in cut down branches and dry leaf

For further evidence, look at the Animal Droppings page


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