Help for Hedgehogs

Friday 21st October 2016

Tom Marshall

The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country is supporting a project being launched due to the dramatic decline in hedgehog numbers.

The Trust is joining forces with the Friends of Brandwood End Cemetery and Birmingham Parks Ranger Service for the ‘Help for Hedgehogs’ initiative, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Hedgehog numbers have fallen by 30 per cent in just over ten years and there are now thought to be fewer than 1 million left in the UK. Hedgehogs now appear to be declining in the UK at the same rate as tigers are globally – around 5 per a year both in urban and rural habitats.

Hedgehogs used to be a common sight in Birmingham, but are now struggling in many areas due to slug pellets, increased traffic and lack of wildlife corridors. The Friends of Brandwood End Cemetery became aware that fewer hedgehogs were being spotted at their site each year and decided to do something about it.

Emma Sargent, Community Engagement Officer for the Trust, says: “This is a really exciting project to be involved in. Cities are becoming increasingly important habitats for hedgehogs, because in the countryside there is more competition for food and so many hedgerows have been destroyed. We can all do something to support our hedgehogs and we will be holding a special event on Tuesday to show people exactly what they can do to help this winter.”

We held a ‘Homes for Hedgehogs’ event at Brandwood End Cemetery, Woodthorpe Road, Kings Heath, in October. Visitors had a chance to build their own hedgehog homes, get useful advice about how to transform their garden into a wildlife haven and enjoy family craft activities.

Over the next year, The Trust will also be surveying the cemetery, collecting records of sightings in the neighbourhood and improving the natural spaces within the site to encourage hedgehogs. They will also be engaging local residents, schools and community groups to make similar improvements to their own gardens.

For more information, please contact Emma Sargent at emma.s@bbcwildlife.org.uk or call 0121 454 1199.

Editors' Notes

Heritage Lottery Fund

Using money raised through the National Lottery, since 1994, the Heritage Lottery Fund has not only revitalised hundreds of museums, parks, historic buildings, landscapes and wildlife sites, but has also given new meaning to heritage itself. People from every walk of life are now involved with the heritage that inspires them, making choices about what they want to keep and share from the past, for future generations. HLF has supported more than 33,900 projects, allocating over £4.4billion across the UK, including £319million to projects across the West Midlands region alone. Website: www.hlf.org.uk.