Fears for future of the humble hedgehog

Angela Fenton with one of the hedgehogs she is caring for
Angela Fenton with one of the hedgehogs she is caring for

Wildlife lovers have expressed fears for the future of the common hedgehog after reports of a massive decline in their population.

A new report by the People’s Trust for Endangered Species and The British Hedgehog Preservation Society showed a rapid fall in hedgehog numbers in all parts of the country.

Hedgehogs wander onto the road and get run over

Reported sightings of the endangered animal have fallen by half in rural areas and by a third in urban ones since 2000. The loss of hedgerows, intensive farming, fenced-in gardens and busy roads are just some of the threats contributing to the demise of the prickly animal.

Hedgehog lover Angela Fenton, 53, is taking care of three baby hedgehogs at her Elm Avenue home in Poulton after they were abandoned in broad daylight.

She said: “It’s very worrying that hedgehogs are declining. More and more hedgehogs are coming into urban areas where they wander onto the roads and end up getting run over. I’m releasing my hedgehogs back into the wild in March and of course I am worried about them.

“They have become part of the family. Obviously I don’t want to release them anywhere near a road.”

People are now being encouraged to help hedgehogs avoid traffic by ‘linking up’ their gardens by making a small hole in their garden fences for hedgehogs to safely wander through.

For more information on how to save hedgehogs, visit www.hedgehogstreet.org.