When did you last see a hedgehog?

Sadly in the UK, Hedgehog numbers have fallen by more than 30% over the last 10 years. Garden pesticides, contaminated water, loss of habitat and traffic collisions have all led to a dramatic fall in UK hedgehog numbers and there are now thought to be less than one million wild hedgehogs left.   

However they are a resilient, adaptable species, and experts believe that with the right information gathered, and actions taken by businesses, landowners, farmers, and the general public, we can turn this situation around and bring this iconic species back from the brink.

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Image by George Kendall

How can you help?

By joining our hedgehog citizen science campaign #WiltshireHedgehog, you can play a vital role in saving Wiltshire's hedgehogs, we need you to record your hedgehog sightings and if you see a hedgehog frequently; monitor its behaviour and movements. With your help as a citizen scientist, we can start to build up data on their numbers, create a map to show where their most dense populations can be found and where to best focus our conservation efforts in Wiltshire and Swindon.

This all starts with you, a key participant in this citizen science project. Through logging your sightings of hedgehogs you can actively contribute to hedgehog conservation where you live. Your garden or local park is a great place to spot hedgehogs, as these areas which provide them with a plentiful supply of food as well as potential nest sites for breeding, resting and hibernation.

Image by Robbie Schulze

If you'd like to become a hedgehog citizen scientist sign up today to join the programme.

This campaign is now officially LIVE, If you sign up to the project today, as a Hedgehog Hero and citizen scientist you'll have access to the hedgehog data collection log where you can upload your sightings as well as any images and video.

These will all be sent to the Wiltshire & Swindon Biological Records Centre and will be used to generate a vital report on the health of Wiltshire's hedgehog populations which will help hedgehogs for years to come.

When you sign up as a Hedgehog Hero you will be sent instructions and regular email updates as well as advice and materials to help you get started recording your sightings and a guide to making your garden hedgehog-friendly. We are also inviting participants to become super #HedgehogHeros and produce photo diaries, video blogs and regular written updates which will feature on our social sites and share throughout our hedgehog citizen science community.

What's Next?

Once we have gathered enough data, we will produce a hedgehog map which will feature your sightings, as well as a report with recommendations for local policy-makers to take concrete steps to protect hedgehog habitats in our county.

More about hedgehogs

If you want to make a difference and actively participate in Hedgehog science and conservation - get involved, become a hedgehog citizen scientist and sign up today!