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Help us find London's hedgehogs

Urban hedgehog (credit Tom Marshall)Urban hedgehog (credit Tom Marshall)

London's hedgehogs are in trouble, with the city's population falling by nearly a third since 2000. We need to act fast to reverse this decline, but we can only do this with your help.

In the 1950s there were around 30 million hedgehogs in Britain, but today the number is less than one million. In London, these spiky beetle-eating mammals have virtually disappeared from many parts of the capital, with only one last breeding population currently recorded in central London.

We're now calling on everyone in London to help us reverse this shocking decline, and ensure our hedgehogs can continue to live in the city for decades to come. With a few simple steps, we can all do our bit to help.

Seen a hedgehog in London?

 

One of our biggest priorities is recording where hedgehogs live in London, so we can build an accurate picture of where our help is most needed. As part of our 'Urban Urchins' project we are asking Londoners, if they have seen a hedgehog at any time and in any part of the capital, to fill in our online form and record their sighting!

 

Mapping London's hedgehogs

All your sightings will be added to our interactive hedgehog map below, where you can click on the icons to discover more about each sighting. This map includes all sightings we have received since April 2017 and is therefore not necessarily an accurate indication of their distribution. However, the more records we receive, the better our understanding of hedgehog whereabouts across the capital becomes.The map will be updated every Tuesday, so keep checking back to see how much our map is growing!

 

 

What's caused hedgehogs to decline in the capital?

  • Lifeless gardens: increased paving, artifical lawns, decking, and tidier and less natural gardens in general, all contribute to the loss of London's hedgehog habitat;
  • Barriers to movement: more fences and busier roads make it harder for hedgehogs to hunt for food - and find a mate - while also making movement more dangerous;
  • Decline in prey: with falls in the numbers of many of the small animals that hedgehogs eat, such as beetles and slugs (caused in large part by the use of pesticides and slug pellets), there is an inevitable knock-on effect.

We know that creating a city with healthy, connected wildlife habitats is the essential first step in helping our local hedgehog population recover. But we can't do it alone - everyone who lives in London has a part to play.

 

Ten simple steps to helping hedgehogs in London

  1. In gardens or community spaces, create habitats such as rough grassland, scrub, hedges, shallow ponds, log piles and compost heaps;
  2. Create 'hedgehog highways' by simply cutting a hedgehog-sized hole (13x13cm) in your fences;
  3. Build a hedgehog home, using a waterproof box and organic material, where hedgehogs can hibernate in winter;
  4. Let your garden grow wild to encourage slugs and beetles and other tasty insects;
  5. Set up a feeding station offering meaty pet food and water;
  6. Remove litter, which harms all kinds of wildlife;
  7. Keep domestic drains covered, as hedgehogs can fall into them and get stuck;
  8. Check bonfires before lighting, ideally building them on the same day they are lit;
  9. Keep your green areas green by avoiding paving, decking, and artificial lawns
  10. Support our work helping hedgehogs by becoming a member of London Wildlife Trust.

A booklet explaining in more detail how to help hedgehogs can be downloaded here.

 

Found an injured hedgehog?

Unfortunately we are unable to help, but if you have found an injured hedgehog, or are concerned about a hedgehog which is out during the daytime, please contact the British Hedgehog Preservation Society on 01584 890801.

Join us on a hedgehog survey

We'll be using footprint tunnels to survey for hedgehogs at some of our nature reserves. These surveys will take place during daylight hours and will last around 2 hours. Full training will be provided for those who are keen to take part.

Sign up as a volunteer and help us search for signs of hedgehogs across London. To find out more and to join in, email Emma on epooley@wildlondon.org.uk

Upcoming survey dates

Help hedgehogs in London