State of Britain’s Hedgehogs 2015 released!

A comprehensive review of the status of hedgehogs nationally. review review-2 review-3 review-4

Ben Fogle asks for people to remember hedgehogs on bonfire night

Every year an unknown number of hedgehogs die or suffer horrific injuries because bonfire piles are not checked before being lit.
ben-hedgehogTo save hedgehogs and other wildlife from appalling suffering Ben Fogle, Patron of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) is backing the Society’s plea that bonfires should not be built until the day they are to be lit.  This will not only save wildlife from burning to death but will also stop the bonfire from getting soaked should it rain the night before!  Fay Vass, Chief Executive of BHPS, said “Piles of bonfire material look like five star hotels to a hedgehog in search of a hibernation site.  It is important to dismantle and move bonfire material that has been stored in advance on open ground.  Move it to another spot just before lighting.   Ensure it’s moved to clear ground – never on top of a pile of leaves as there could be a hedgehog underneath, and not too close to pampas grass which can ignite very easily and is another favourite spot for hedgehogs to hide under.”   If, whilst building, a bonfire is left unattended, for however short a time; it’s imperative to check for hedgehogs and other animals, including family pets, before lighting. Ben says “Please remember to check bonfires carefully for hedgehogs and other animals prior to lighting. Then if it is clear, light only from one side so as to allow an escape route for anything you may have missed.” As hedgehogs tend to hide in the centre and bottom two feet of the bonfire, check by gently lifting the bonfire section by section with a pole or broom. Never use a spade or fork as these can stab them.  Using a torch will help and listen for a hissing sound, as this is the noise they make when disturbed.   Fay continues “If hedgehogs are found, take as much of the nest as you can and place them in a high-sided cardboard box with plenty of newspaper/old towelling.  Ensure there are air holes in the lid and that the lid is secured firmly to the box, as hedgehogs are great climbers.  Wear garden gloves so you don’t get human smells on them and to minimise stress caused to the hedgehog, also, it protects your hands from their spikes.  Put the box in a safe place such as a shed or garage well away from the festivities and offer them meaty cat or dog food and fresh water to drink.  Once the bonfire is totally dampened down, release the hedgehog under a hedge, bush or behind a stack of logs with more food and water.”   Going to an official organised fireworks display is a far safer option for both humans and animals.   For advice and to obtain the names of carers in your area in advance of bonfire night, contact the BHPS on 01584 890 801.

The Day of the Hedgehog

Saturday 21st November 2015 will be a very special one in the world of all things hedgehog! It is The Day of the Hedgehog! hosted by BHPS and our partners in Hedgehog Street, the Peoples Trust for Endangered Species. dayofthehedgehog
400 hedgehog fans will descend upon Telford International Centre in Shropshire for a full day jam packed with fascinating talks by experts and scientists (mostly funded by BHPS & PTES) who are working on hedgehog projects.  It will be a wonderful tour of the issues facing hedgehogs in 21st century Britain.  There will be trade stands selling pretty much all the hedgehoggery you could think of and plenty of opportunity to mix with fellow hedgehog fans!   Speakers List: Dr Pat Morris, President of BHPS, Dr Phil Baker – University of Reading, Becky Walton  – Hedgehog Street Champion, Dr Richard Yarnell – University of Nottingham, Henry Johnson – Hedgehog officer for Hedgehog Street, Dr Nigel Reeve – Former Head of Ecology for Royal Parks, Carly Pettett – Researcher for WildCru at University of Oxford,  Dr Simone Bullion – Senior Conservation Officer at Suffolk Wildlife Trust, Simon Thompson – Hedgehog Officer for Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, Ben Williams – Hedgehog Researcher at University of Reading and our charismatic host, ecologist and author Hugh Warwick!   Tickets cost £35 each and every delegate will receive a goody bag, refreshments and a sandwich lunch.   Tickets are strictly limited so please do book early to avoid disappointment. Find out more and book tickets at www.hedgehogstreet.org/pages/hogcon15.html   Hope to see you there!

‘Wild About Gardens’ Week

We are supporting Wild About Gardens Week with People’s Trust for Endangered Species, our partner in Hedgehog Street.
This year the week long event organised by the RHS and Wildlife Trust is focussing on helping hedgehogs! Click on the image below to see the specially produced 16 page booklet. WAGW