Hedgehog numbers in urban areas are relatively stable
October 10, 2023
An investigation is being launched into the health of Wandsworth borough’s hedgehog population and the help of residents is being sought.
It is known already that there is a population in Putney and Roehampton but Enable, the non-profit that manages Wandsworth’s parks on behalf of the council, needs more records to be submitted and would like to hear about sightings in other parts of the borough as well.
Enable has trialed special tunnels at allotment sites including Garratt Park and Sailor Prince. These use non-toxic ink to show paw prints where hedgehogs have been. Biodiversity officers can count the footprints to get an idea of population.
It would like you to keep an eye out for them in parks and gardens – they like to live in areas with piles of leaves, logs or compost, in underground and under sheds. Find out more about hedgehogs in your garden.
Wandsworth is working with GiGL (Greenspace Information for Greater London) on recording figures. Submit your findings to gigl.org.uk – you can fill in a form and let them know where you spotted hedgehogs so they can establish some robust data.
Hedgehogs are in decline nationally, but numbers are relatively stable in urban areas. However busy roads and parks and loss of habitat can affect populations.
The hedgehog count is part of the council’s ongoing work with Enable to record, protect and increase Wandsworth’s biodiversity in line with the Wandsworth Biodiversity Strategy.
A dedicated officer has started work to co-ordinate biodiversity activities, including biodiversity recording, surveys and citizen science, where specialists work with the public to collect and analyse data.
Special ink is used to track hedgehog activity
Local people can also take part in monthly Habitat Management Workshop so they can learn about habitats and biodiversity and help keep Tooting and Wandsworth Commons thriving. Email email@example.com to get involved.
Judi Gasser, cabinet member for environment, said, “The public have a crucial role to play in helping to protect and improve local habitats and we want to work closely with local groups and individuals to get everyone involved.
“Hedgehogs are a priority species for us, so we want to find out if we are providing the habitats they need here in Wandsworth. If you see a hedgehog don’t touch it or pick it up, but do let us know. If we all keep an eye out we’ll get much more comprehensive data to help us protect this lovely animal.”
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