No hedgehogs recorded in Hackney since 2002
Did you know that there have been no recorded sightings of hedgehogs in Hackney since 2002? In fact, the number of hedgehogs in the UK has fallen by 30 per cent in the last ten years. They are disappearing from our countryside as fast as tigers are worldwide.
Hedgehogs are most commonly spotted in parks and gardens, where bushes and hedges provide the perfect day-time getaway, and insect-rich lawns and flowerbeds make excellent feeding grounds at dusk. Hedgehogs eat all kinds of invertebrates, as well as amphibians, bird eggs and anything else they can catch; they particularly like big, crunchy beetles, earthworms and slugs, making them a gardener's best friend.
Adult hedgehogs can travel between 1-2km in one night. Combined, our gardens provide a space for wildlife larger than local green spaces, so by gardening in a wildlife-friendly way, we can help our spikey companions to find a home and move safely between habitats to find mates and food.
Hedgehogs need to be able to roam far and wide in search of food, mates and nesting sites. Get together with your neighbours to cut a 13x13cm hole in your fence or dig a channel beneath garden boundaries to connect your gardens. You can download advice about how to do this and record your hedgehog hole at hedgehogstreet.org.
Fallen leaves also make the perfect nesting material, so make sure you don’t clear all of these away. Try to pile these in quiet, undisturbed corners of your garden to allow hedgehogs a safe, secure area to breed and hibernate.
Bonfire night is a particularly dangerous time for hedgehogs. Every year hedgehogs die or suffer injuries due to bonfire piles not being not checked before being lit. Avoid building your bonfire until the day it is going to be lit - this will reduce the chances of hedgehogs taking up residence in the bonfire pile for hibernation. Always make sure you build your bonfire on clear ground (not on top of leaves) and don't forget to check your bonfire before lighting too!
If you see a hedgehog, please record the sighting here.
For more information about hedgehogs visit The Wildlife Trusts website.
Join the Hackney Biodiversity Partnership here.