For the first time Hedgehog Street has revealed the counties across the British Isles who are recording the most (and least!) number of native hedgehog sightings. The Hedgehog Street team are calling for more people (especially in the areas where fewer records have been submitted) to record their sightings of Britain’s favourite mammal online, to ensure the BIG Hedgehog Map reflects the most accurate picture of hedgehogs that have been seen in Britain.
The data, which is from Hedgehog Street’s BIG Hedgehog Map, shows all recorded sightings of hedgehogs (dead or alive)since 2015. Hedgehog Street (run by wildlife charities the British Hedgehog Preservation Society & People’s Trust for Endangered Species), has collated these sightings to create a ‘heatmap’ showing where in the British Isles the public are most actively recording sightings of hedgehogs.
The top five hedgehog spotting counties are:
|Top rank||County||Number of records|
Emily Wilson, Hedgehog Officer for Hedgehog Street says: “We’re so pleased that people across the country, from rural Hampshire to urban landscapes such as Greater Manchester, are actively recording sightings of hedgehogs when they see them. While the heatmap does not reflect actual hedgehog distribution, the more data we can gather, the better picture we have of where hedgehogs are located across the British Isles, which helps us to protect these beautiful but endangered animals.”
The areas with the fewest sightings recorded include Bath and north-east Somerset, the Isle of Wight and Bristol. The heatmap also revealed that data from Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland is also very sparse.
|Lowest rank||County||Number of records|
|1||Bath and north-east Somerset||60|
|2||Isle of Wight||63|
Emily continues: “A lower number or no sightings doesn’t necessarily mean there are less hedgehogs in the given area, but simply that we’re not being told about them. Therefore, we’re asking anyone who sees a hedgehog to record their sightings on the BIG Hedgehog Map - so if you’re lucky enough to spot one, please log your ‘hog!”
As well as logging sightings of hedgehogs, the BIG Hedgehog Map can also record when someone has made a hedgehog hole in or under their garden fence or wall – something Hedgehog Street strongly encourages people to do, as this allows hedgehogs wider access to food, shelter and mates.
To record sightings of hedgehogs, or to map a hedgehog hole, please visit: www.bighedgehogmap.org and to register as a Hedgehog Champion or for more information about hedgehogs, visit: www.hedgehogstreet.org.