Can you help us save London's hedgehogs, the capital's original street urchins, from disappearing for good?

Hedgehogs are disappearing from our countryside as fast as tigers are worldwide

Over the past 50 years we've seen declines in two thirds of the UK's plant and animal species, including many of our once common garden species. Ten years ago there were over 3 million hedgehogs snuffling in hedgerows throughout Britain, but research shows their numbers have suffered a staggering decline. There are now thought to be fewer than 1 million hedgehogs left, and records suggest that they have virtually disappeared from many parts of London.

These spiny mammals are under threat from developments and roads that have carved through hedgehog habitats of grasslands and hedgerows, leaving populations isolated and more vulnerable to local extinction. Even our own gardens are contributing to their decline. Once upon a time most urban gardens were hedgehog havens but as we have tidied them up, used slug pellets, and bordered them with impenetrable fencing we have inadvertently removed their habitat, preventing them from foraging and finding mates.

Hedgehogs under threat

Hedgehog sightings across London for the last 20 years There has never been a better time to donate. London Wildlife Trust has recently learnt that not only will the proposed HS2 rail link cut across one of our most valuable nature reserves, Frays Farm Meadows, a Site of Special Scientific Interest in Hillingdon, it will seemingly contribute to the demise of hedgehogs in Regent’s Park, the last inner London greenspace known to support a breeding population.

London Wildlife Trust knows that creating a landscape with healthy, joined-up wildlife habitats is the essential first step in helping our local hedgehogs recover. But we cannot do it alone. You can do something now to stop this iconic creature from vanishing forever.

The author and adventurer Ben Fogle says: “Everybody loves hedgehogs! It’s a tragedy that they are disappearing so quickly particularly when it’s easy to help them. We can all have a go at planting a native hedge, creating gaps in fences for them to pass through, leaving leaf or log piles and allowing parts of the garden to grow wild to give them a home.”

By making a donation today you will not only be helping save London’s hedgehogs, you will also be benefitting all the wildlife that the Trust works hard to protect.

Your donation would:

  • help save London’s hedgehogs, enabling them to make their homes in parts of London where they haven’t been seen for many years
  • help to restore London’s natural habitats, giving hedgehogs and lots of other wildlife a better chance of survival. During the winter months, when hedgehogs are hibernating, Trust staff and volunteers are at their busiest on our reserves, carrying out essential work to prepare the wide range of habitats we manage for the onset of spring
  • help to ensure that hedgehogs and London’s other wildlife are protected into the future for the next generation of Londoners to appreciate and enjoy
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Hedgehog images by Tom Marshall