Hedgehogs are an iconic species whose numbers are in decline.
Since 2020, they have been listed as ‘vulnerable’ to extinction on the first red list of British mammals published by the Mammal Society. Their population decline is attributed to many different causes, making it difficult to address.
The latest State of Britain’s Hedgehogs Report identifies the decline in hedgehogs, with numbers in rural areas falling by 50%, in comparison to 30% in urban areas since 2000.
In urban areas, populations are showing signs of recovery, which has been attributed to the importance of green spaces, gardens, and habitat connectivity. This disparity highlights the importance of individual and local action in supporting hedgehog populations.
As part of a wider highways biodiversity project, Herefordshire Council is providing a hedgehog green ecohabitat to primary schools as a biodiversity enhancement. These homes are made from recycled materials and provide hedgehogs with a safe space to hibernate and raise young, as well as an escape from predators, helping to increase their numbers.
Alongside the homes, a guidance pack full of illustrated activities will be available for download.
How you can take part
As a school
Primary schools in Herefordshire can register their interest in the project to receive a long lasting eco home to use on their campus by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Once you have registered your interest, Herefordshire Council will contact you to arrange a delivery as the boxes become available. All you then have to do is find a safe spot for the habitat on your school grounds. The guidance pack will offer suggestions on how to best place and take care of your home. It will also come with a range of activities, covering literacy, science, mindfulness and many others, to help engage children.
As an individual
You will soon be able to download colourful guidance activities pack suitable for 3 to 12 year olds. The pack will have helpful tips on how you as an individual can help support hedgehog populations in your home and around your area.
However, in the meantime you can download a sneak peek activtiy to celebrate Hedgehog Awareness Week.
Hedgehog Awareness Week 2022 Activity
Hedgehog Awareness Week runs from May 1-7 which aims to highlight the problems hedgehogs face and how you can help them.
Have you spotted a hedgehog or created your very own hedgehog highway? If so, you can map your hedgehog hole here. Alternatively, register a sighting or see how connected your local area is for hedgehogs via the BIG Hedgehog Map.