Hedgehog numbers in urban areas are increasing despite a dramatic decline in their country cousins.
Between 30% to 75% of the hedgehog populations have gone down in rural areas – in particular the East of the country.
But studies reveal numbers in towns and cities are on the rise – albeit slowly.
The update on the hedgehog – one of Britain’s most loved mammals -comes from the People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS).
Report co-author Nida Al-Fulaij, research manager at PTES, said:
“We want to work with farmers to make landscapes more hedgehog-friendly.
“If you picture a landscape, the greater mosaic of different habitats and varied features, and varied species within those features, the better it is not just for hedgehogs but for everything.”
Ms Al-Fulaji said the hedgehog – as its name implies – loves to forage in hedgerows for its food.
To encourage the hogs to make themselves at home in urban gardens she says, “don’t lay Astroturf”.
She said: “Don’t Astroturf your garden; if you can make some rough and wild areas as hedgehog-friendly as possible, then that’s great.”
Hedgehog Welfare – based in the East Midlands – nurses and returns hundreds of hedgehogs each year back into the wild.
Lead carer Sally Key said:
“Although these reports are encouraging for urban hedgehogs, we still face a battle every year to save as many hogs as possible.
“We advise urban home owners to ensure hedgehogs can run through gardens using man-made highways.
“And having a log pile is a welcoming sight for hedgehogs.
“And, if you spot a hog in your garden leave out some kitten biscuits and fresh water.”