The extinction of the only spiny mammal in Britain is a very real threat! The European Hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) evolved to how we know them today, about 15 million years ago! But, since the 1950’s their decline has been significant.
It is thought their numbers were as high as 36 million but today, research suggests there is to be less than a million left in the wild, very sad to think their extinction may be seen by us, our children or grandchildren…
We can help them to thrive again! With small alterations in our gardens, we can have a huge impact on the lives of Hedgehogs and also other wildlife.
I set up the Facebook group ‘East Leake Hedgehogs’ back in February this year and the number of people who have already joined is reassuring but we want more people to join and learn about the needs of these enchanting creatures. One of only 3 mammals in the UK who hibernate, a method of survival which is fascinating in its own right, the other two being Bats and Dormice (both of which are protected and/or endangered).
My message here today is PLEASE do your bit to help prevent hedgehogs from becoming extinct in the British Isles.
Here are a few of the measures you can take and they are easy to achieve; Create safe gardens; ramps out of ponds, cover drain holes, make gaps (5x5inches round or square) in the bottom of fences so they can pass through in search of food and mates; if there is a drop on one side, make a ramp/steps to the hole, provide nesting areas; an overgrown corner of your garden, under the trees or hedges…leave an area of your garden wild, this will attract insects for hedgehogs to eat and possibly a home for the hedgehogs too, stop using pesticides or unsafe gardening equipment; there’s lots of information on the internet about how to help hedgehogs and safe gardening techniques, always provide a shallow dish of water; one of the biggest threats to a hedgehog is dehydration and can be so easily prevented.
Please join East Leake Hedgehogs on Facebook and feel free to ask more questions there, share your efforts plus much more.
COMPETITION TIME: East Leake Hedgehog Highways is a scheme we’re in the process of setting up, whereby making holes in barriers/fences can be achieved by more people.
Only thing is, we would like a logo… If you design a logo which encapsulates what we are trying to achieve (highways, hedgehogs, East Leake, wild, wildlife) you could be chosen as the winner of this lovely gap surround which was kindly gifted to us by Wild Things: Keyworth.
Please email your design to firstname.lastname@example.org by 31st January 2022.
You can also find out more about hedgehogs and what is happening around the country. Below are the websites for two amazing charities who are researching hedgehogs all the time and do so much in the fight against hedgehogs becoming extinct. Please take a look and see what they are doing and donate if you can.