The shocking decline of Hedgehog Population in the UK
Hedgehog numbers 1950 = 36 million. Hedgehog numbers 2013 = 1 million
Photo - Down the Lane
The rapid and scaring decline in the UK's Hedgehog population can be put down to many things.
1. Road Building
The 1950's and 1960's saw many new Roads and Motorways built and this affected the Hedgehogs natural instincts for travelling distances in search of food.
Quite simple really, more road deaths occurred and numbers started to fall.
As Farming technology progressed to meet the demands of the rising human population, fields became bigger thus reducing the amount of Hedgerows.
More Housing Estates with enclosed panel fencing not allowing Hedgehog through traffic, more Business Parks creating less green.
Hedges have been replaced with fencing in many gardens and without some entrance and exit through them, the 'Hedgehog Highway' comes to an end.
Gardens have become 'too tidy'
No way in, no way out
5. Slug Pellets
This is a growing concern. More people care for their Flower Beds and Vegetable Gardens and Slugs are a predator to success. By killing one creature because they are a nuisance only helps us - it does not help the food chain of nature ie. Kill all flies and you're effectively killing all Spiders as well.
Hedgehogs can easily get tangled up in any garden netting.
7. Elastic Bands
This may seem strange but there are countless cases of serious injuries or death where Hedgehogs have got tangled up in them. I regret that a minority of Postmen can sometimes leave these around.
8. Lawnmowers and Strimmers
An obvious one really. A Hedgehog surviving the above is a rare event.
Hedgehogs need water like any other creature and likely to find a Pond and go in. They can swim, but need a way out. Building a rock 'ramp' will prevent them drowning.
If you slowly build up a bonfire, the bottom will become quite a warm dry place, ideal for Hedgehogs to nest. Lighting a bonfire could be saying farewell to yet more Hedgehogs.
About the only predator the Hedgehog has is the Badger. Once upon a time they lived together well apparently, but as Badger's found it increasingly hard to find food, some have turned on the Hedgehogs.
Hedgehog Preservation Society
. The Society is a great non-profit Organization. Becoming a Member compared to some Charities is surprisingly cheap and they will send you much information in their welcome package.
You can 'like' them on their Facebook page.