The hedgehog is rapidly disappearing from Britain. This half term week (Sunday 27 May – Sunday 3 June 2018) we need you to help us find out why.
Hedgehogs are thought to have declined by around a third over the past 10 years, and the reasons for the decline remain largely unknown.
To help solve the mystery we would like you to record when and where you see hedgehogs using our free Mammal Mapper smartphone app.
How to get involved in the Big Half Term Hedgehog Watch 2018
Step one: Download the free Mammal Mapper app onto your smartphone. You can download it by clicking on one of the buttons below:
When you use it for the first time you need to log in, so you may want to do this before setting off. Oh, and make sure your phone is charged up!
Step two: Decide where to walk. Because you are going out after dark it is best to use a route you are familiar with. We need information from everywhere, so walks in your local neighbourhood, in a park or out in the countryside are all useful. If you can include places with hedgerows or woodland, that will be even better. Walking in a circular route is fine.
Step three: If you are under 18, make sure you go on your walk with a parent or other responsible adult. Perhaps you could ask your friends to come along too: more eyes make it easier to spot hedgehogs!
Step four: Keep safe! Take a torch, and remember to wear light-coloured clothes or high-visibility jacket if you are planning to include roads without footpaths on your route. Do not walk by water on your own, or take other risks. Tell someone when and where you are going and let them know when you are safely home again.
Step five: Switch on the the Mammal Mapper app at the start of your walk. If you are only interested in recording hedgehogs you can select that option on the app. Alternatively, you can record all the mammals you see on your walk, which will give us lots of extra useful information.
Step six: Go on your walk and have fun! You can submit your records straight away or save them until you are in a wifi zone. You will be able to see a map of where you have been and what you spotted.
Step seven: Have an excellent night’s sleep, safe in the knowledge that you’ve had a good walk, discovered more about wildlife and helped to safeguard the future of some of Britain’s most iconic mammals!
Don’t worry if you don’t have a smartphone, you can simply record what you see and you can submit your record online using one of the methods described on our Record Submission Page.
We’ll be following your stories on social media. Look out for the hashtag #HedgehogWatch and feel free to join in the conversation.
Thank you for helping us to help hedgehogs!
What happens to the records you submit?
After half term we’ll analyse all of the records you submit and will post the results on our website. All records will also be submitted to Coreo – a dedicated platform for collecting citizen science data.
Happy hedgehog watching!