Our most prickly friends are under threat, and a South Yorkshire wildlife charity needs your help to save hedgehogs.
Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust needs ‘hedgehog heroes’ to send in sightings of the creatures, and to donate to its appeal.
New ‘citizen scientists’ will help monitor local hedgehog populations using hedgehog footprint tunnels. Numbers have fallen by 30 per cent in 10 years to fewer than a million across the UK.
Almost 13 per cent of Sheffield’s sightings so far are road casualties. The shy creatures suffer habitat loss for a variety of reasons.
A grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund is to support the appeal, Nature Counts, that already has over 250 hedgehog sightings.
Renowned wildlife expert Hugh Warwick will launch the campaign at a talk in Sheffield Hallam University. He believes we should all ‘reconnect’ our gardens, making them more accessible to this much loved animal.
He said: “Just making a small difference to the way we manage our gardens can make a huge difference to the chances of hauling hedgehogs back from the brink. Just a small hole, the size of a CD case in the fence or wall you share with your neighbour is enough.”
A themed Hedgehog Week over half term includes a hedgehog footprint survey workshop and fun family events to educate and inspire everyone. For more details visit http://www.wildsheffield.com/hedgehog-week or call 0114 2634335.