THE PLIGHT OF THE HEDGEHOG.
European Hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus were once relatively abundant, they were frequent visitors to, or permanent residents in, our gardens and hedgerows.
Hedgehog populations are in decline, especially in rural areas. This decline is the consequence of the fragmentation and loss of habitat, in combination with a decline in the availability of food; both largely caused by intensive agriculture. Road-kills as well as predation by other large mammals are also contributing factors. climate change may affect the ability of hedgehogs to prepare for hibernation, as well as cause them to come out of hibernation prematurely when there is insufficient food available. Climate change will also increase flood risk and may constitute a hazard to hedgehogs that are hibernating or nesting on the ground.
In urban areas (particularly small towns and suburbs), hedgehog populations appear to be doing better: there is evidence that populations are more stable, or have even increased slightly. Such areas can act as reserves and refuges for hedgehog populations. As such, they can maintain healthy populations of hedgehogs and other animals. Once this is achieved, the hedgehogs can return and contribute to supporting and maintaining the health of the wider countryside through their interactions with the other organisms that comprise and contribute to the ecological dynamics of these habitats.
Watchet Hedgehog's objectives are to:
Raise awareness of the ecological importance and plight of hedgehogs.
Provide local data about hedgehog populations to inform a national overview of their status, facilitating review and revision best practices in their conservation
Help increase the size and health of local hedgehog populations through the provision of appropriate habitat and nesting sites in gardens and other available land
Increase connectivity through the urban / suburban environment by reducing barriers to hedgehog movement; allowing them to achieve the foraging ranges that they require for a healthy, balanced diet and to breed successfully.
To educate young people in the importance of native species, particularly hedgehogs and their roles in our natural environment.
Geckoella is proud to support The Hedgehog Project, as part of their ongoing commitment to education and conservation.
Geckoella is an independent ecological and geological consultancy based in south-west England. Established in 2010, as a sister company to Geckoella Sri Lanka, we offer high quality advice for the private, public and third sector relating to how to achieve biodiversity net gain and geo-conservation benefits, from planning and development control at the site level, through to landscape-scale conservation and evaluation.
The founding Directors, Kate Jeffreys and Andy King, have backgrounds in ecology, conservation, geosciences, research and consultancy.
Geckoella is a responsible business, providing exemplary service for our clients and a good working environment for our team of ecologists and geologists, including associates. We seek to benefit the environment and the communities in which we work.
Watchet Conservation Society is proud to support The Hedgehog Project, in line with their mission to promote, conserve and improve our physical and natural environment.
Watchet Conservation Society is an organisation promoting, conserving and improving the physical and natural environment in the Watchet area.
The Society's Aims
To promote high standards of planning and architecture in or affecting Watchet and its environment
To educate the public in the geography, history, natural history and architecture of Watchet and its environment
To secure the preservation, protection, development and improvement of the features of historic or public interest in Watchet and its environment
To strive to reconcile the desirability of preserving those features which give the district its distinctive charm with the need for progress and prosperity