Hope for hedgehogs as urban numbers rise

The London Colney Hedgehog Rescue give us tips on helping to save hedgehogs. 

The London Colney Hedgehog Rescue give us tips on helping to save hedgehogs. - Credit: London Colney Hedgehog Rescue

St Albans' urban hedgehogs are showing signs of recovery after years of decline, according to a national report, but there are still concerns about their rural cousins.

The State of Britain’s Hedgehogs 2022 report - produced by the People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) - shows data from five surveys, with two urban counts showing an upward trend nationwide and an estimated 200,000 to 250,000 hedgehogs in suburban and inner-city green spaces.

Esther Chant, of London Colney Hedgehog Rescue, said: "It is good news for our garden hedgehogs but sadly bad news for the rural hedgehog. The increase is only a slight upturn following a mass decline, so we must not be complacent and must continue the trend of making our gardens safe, giving hedgehogs access, and spreading their awareness.

"People can leave an area to grow wild which will give them protection and a safe place to sleep, this can also provide them with an abundance of natural foods like beetles, caterpillars and earthworms.  By making a hole approximately four inch square in fences with provide them with access through peoples gardens."

Esther has some tips for helping hedgehogs: 

  • Make gardens safe by removing all litter, netting and chemicals.
  • Also be careful when gardening to check all areas before using any machinery.
  • Cover all drains and holes.  
  • If there is a pond, provide them with an exit to climb out.  
  • Hedgehogs are good swimmers but will soon get tired and drown if unable to get out. Make sure a shallow dish of water is always left out.  
  • If you would like to feed hedgehogs in your garden, you can feed them meaty wet dog/cat food, cat biscuits or hedgehog biscuits.

She added: "Enjoy them. They are very special animals and deserve all the help we can give them."