Why does the hedgehog need protecting?
The hedgehog is our only native spiny mammal and is covered with 6000 spines!Although hedgehogs are still relatively common around a third of the national population has been lost since 2000. Hedgehogs are listed as a Priority Species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan and are identified as ‘Vulnerable’. No legislation currently addresses the causes of decline in hedgehog populations.
What habitats does it need?
Hedgerows are important for hedgehogs (hence the name) as they often follow linear features when foraging. They have a range of habitats, but are not found in conifer plantations, marshes & moorlands. Suburban and urban gardens are increasingly important habitat.
Why we chose it?
The hedgehog is threatened in both rural and urban environments. We have chosen it for its important role as an indicator species, with the hedgehog’s habits and population trends closely reflecting the health of our landscape.
We have also chosen the nation’s favourite animal as a species which will engage the public to actively contribute towards conservation work. It is also the emblem for Archenfield and Ross-on-Wye.
Our Wye Valley National Landscapes Hedgehog campaign is called ‘Wye Hedgehogs‘ and we will be working with our fantastic local Wye Hedgehog Hero Dylan Allman. You may have seen Dylan, from Monmouth, on The One Show. During the first Lockdown Dylan started his ‘Be Hedgehog Aware’ campaign to reduce the number of hedgehog injuries sustained through garden strimming or mowing. He designed stickers to go on garden equipment to remind people to check for hedgehogs before strimming and has managed to persuade Hyundai Power Products to use his stickers! They are the first company to have 100,000 strimmers and mowers coming off the production line with these safety stickers on. This is an amazing achievement and we are delighted Dylan has agreed to be our ‘Wye Hedgehog Hero’. Check out his film here which has lots of tips on how to make hedgehog friendly gardens and feeding stations.
We’ll also be working alongside the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and People’s Trust for Endangered Species, Ross on Wye Hedgehog Care & Advice and other local groups to make the Wye Valley the hedgehog friendliest National Landscape! Do get in touch if you would like to be involved.
Our campaign seeks to increase our understanding of the distribution and abundance of hedgehogs in the Wye Valley, through conducting surveys and working with local communities to take action for hedgehogs. To help us better understand the current status of our hedgehog populations, we’d like you to help us record where the Wye Valley National Landscape’s hedgehogs are. Please let us know when you last saw a hedgehog, and where, by emailing a grid reference or what3words address to: firstname.lastname@example.org.