Many years ago the well known children’s author Beatrix Potter wrote a little story about a hedgehog called Mrs. Tiggy-winkle and she became a very popular hedgehog story for children. That same creature, the Hedgehog, that often befriends our gardens in the night is also a true gardeners friend. The common hedgehog is a mammal that loves insect filled lawns and will eats garden worms, beetles, caterpillars, earwigs, snails, earthworms and slugs, so you see they can be very beneficial useful creature to have in your garden.
According to the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, Hedgehogs are found throughout Britain except on a few Scottish Isles and the Channel Islands. Nowadays the hedgehog is declining in numbers due to a variety of factors including urban sprawl. The Suffolk Wildlife Trust says “It is thought their numbers have dropped from 30 million 50 years ago to around 1 million nationwide today. Sources including the People’s Trust for Endangered Species believe they may have declined by as much as a third in the last ten years alone.”
This summer in an effort to help with hedgehog conservation, a newly appointed Hedgehog officer, was named at the Suffolk Wildlife Trust. Alexandra North is a 25-year-old, zoology graduate who beat about 150 applicants to land the conservation role with the Suffolk Wildlife Trust. The newly appointed Hedgehog officer will help with many things including making Ipswich a most hedgehog friendly town.
So how at home take care of these little gardener’s friends? Well, according to the Wildlife Trusts here are some things you can do to help hedgehogs:
- Place a pile of leaves or logs for them to hibernate under in the
- Put down some cat food in a dish for them and some water
- Always check your bonfires before you light them.
- Avoid using poisonous slug pellets and pesticides
- Make holes in fences big enough so hedgehogs can roam through
There is also a very helpful hedgehog booklet available, where you can learn much more about helping hedgehogs, what they like to eat and more from the Wildlife Trusts.
Did you know that Hedgehog sightings are really important and you can participate with tracking them and add your hedgehog sighting here.
So, it really is a case of paying attention to the small things that we can do which will help conserve our ecological system and ensure the longevity of the lovely Hedgehog for our future generations.
Sophie Keats is a Freelance Writer who loves all wildlife, she is originally from England now living in Toronto, Canada. www.sophiekeats-writer.yolasite.com