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Save the Hedgehog

The Avon Wildlife Trust is leading the way in saving the hedgehog, an animal that first appeared over 15 million years ago. One third of the Bristol area hedgehog population has disappeared in the past 20 years and the Trust wants to find out where they survive so they can figure out how to reverse this decline.

The Trust is asking local people to log onto its Wild Hedgehogs website and report their hedgehog sightings. They even want to hear from people who don’t see a hedgehog to find out where the hedgehogs are missing.

3,500 people took part in the Avon Wildlife Trust’s first hedgehog survey in 1988. Now the Trust wants to compare where hedgehogs were found then and where they live now.

hedgehogThe Trust reports that there are many theories as to why the hedgehogs have declined. Generally, they have fewer places to forage because gardens have been sealed off with impenetrable fencing. Slug pellets in gardens may also have been poisoning hedgehogs. Even climate change has been blamed.

People can help hedgehogs by giving them safe access to your garden and feeding them the best hedgehog food (insects, berries, melons, etc.).

Here are a few interesting facts about hedgehogs. They are spiny animals, with about 6,000 sharp spines each. Hedgehogs can race at 6 mph for short periods of time, but more often protect themselves by rolling up and becoming a spiny ball.

So if you live in the Bristol area and either see or don’t see a hedgehog, please help the Avon Wildlife Trust with their hedgehog survey.

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Alison Wheatley

Alison Wheatley

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