35.5 million missing hedgehogs

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Jack Riggall is a volunteer with the national Hedgehog Street campaign living in Nantwich, concerned about the dramatic decline in hedgehog numbers. Jack will be speaking at the next Audlem & Wildlife Group (AWEG) meeting on Tuesday 3rd June at the Lord Combermere at 7.15pm.

He writes:

The hedgehog is a wild mammal that needs little introduction; there is nothing else even remotely like it in the country, although on the European mainland it has to be referred to as the western hedgehog to differentiate it from a relative in the same genus, the eastern hedgehog.

Though it is a familiar neighbour to us all in the UK, it is becoming scarcer every day; it has in fact dropped from an estimated 36.5 million in the 1950s to less than 1 million today. This decline rivals and even surpasses that of the endangered tiger.

However, we can make changes to our own habits that will encourage the hedgehog population. Hedgehog Street is a national campaign jointly organised by the People's Trust for Endangered Species and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and as I have recently signed up as a Hedgehog Champion with this project, I will do what I can in the local area.

One purpose of this national project is to encourage neighbours to look at their gardens and ensure hedgehogs can come and go between them; this opens up a wider territory for the food (beetles, slugs and other creepy crawlies) that the hedgehog needs to eat each night.

If you want further information on how to do this then please get in touch with the Hedgehog Street officer at Henry.Johnson@ptes.org
I'm also submitting any hedgehog records that people can share; any time you see them, whether it's alive or the unfortunate victim of road kill, please let me know; I can be contacted via email at onthisrock@hotmail.co.uk

The records will go to the national survey as part of the hedgehog street campaign to monitor the population. I'm also more than happy to offer any advice on how to improve gardens for the hedgehog.
Further reading:
Hedgehog Street Homepage: http://www.hedgehogstreet.org/
Hedgehog Factfile: http://www.mammal.org.uk/hedgehog
Tiger Factfile: http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/15955/0

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