- 87% of people that reported sightings saw them in their garden
- Almost 70% of the people that saw hedgehogs in their gardens fed them
- Almost 70% of the people that fed them saw the hedgehogs more than 5 times
A long time gardener’s friend and once numerous mammal the hedgehog has seen a dramatic decline in the past few decades. Aptly named for its habituating of garden hedgerows and snorting like feeding behaviour the hedgehog is usually a welcome sight in much of the UK, rootling for small insects, worms, slugs and snails throughout the night.
Fragmentation, road traffic accidents, poor management of hedgerows and fencing or paving of gardens are thought to be the main causes of this decline but there is still a knowledge gap on what exactly is the largest contributing factor. It is important that more research is undertaken to decide what measures could be taken to halt this long term decline.
The Mammal Society is involved in several projects to help understand the loss of this much loved mammal including key citizen science research. One of these projects, the Hedgehog and Lighting Project, saw members experimenting whether artificial lighting affects hedgehog’s uptake of supplementary food provided by them in their gardens.
This project was sponsored by Kent Mammal Group, Cornwall Mammal Group and Devon Mammal Group and Dan Brown at Natural World Consultants. Almost 40 citizen scientists carried out the experiment by putting camera traps in their garden and then watching the hedgehogs behaviour in light and dark conditions. Footage from this project has now been submitted to us where we are currently going through the data and analysing results.