Once common in gardens all across the UK, a new survey has highlighted the continued plight of our spiny garden visitors.
An annual survey by BBC Gardeners’ World magazine has shown that most people saw no hedgehogs in their garden during 2016. Of the 2,600 people who took part in the survey, 51% reported seeing no hedgehogs at all, an increase from 48% in 2015, and only 12% of people reported regular sightings. The results fall in line with other hedgehog surveys conducted by the RSPB and the People’s Trust for Endangered Species who have also reported a drop in hedgehog numbers since the turn of the millennium.
So where have our hedgehogs gone?
Although there is still no certainty, it is thought the most likely reason for the decline is due to a loss of habitat from increased development and intensification of agriculture. In the past 10 years alone hedgehog populations have fallen by 30% and there are now thought to be fewer than 1 million individuals left in the wild.
Want to help hedgehogs? Here is a useful guide on steps you can take to prevent the disappearance of these important garden visitors.