Article and Photographs: Jonathan White
A new Facebook group called ‘Hedgehogs of Nantwich!’ has been setup to share information about local hedgehogs.
The group allows its users to chat about all things hedgehog related locally, find local help on making a garden more hedgehog friendly, find local advice on anything hedgehog related, and become a focal point for anyone wanting to raise awareness locally. Users of the group have also uploaded night-time videos and photos of hedgehogs and hoglets nesting and eating in their gardens.
The British Hedgehog Preservation Society estimates that urban hedgehog populations have fallen by up to 30%, and rural populations by at least 50%, since the turn of the century, as Hedgehogs’ preferred countryside habitats of hedgerows and woodlands are shrinking.
Hedgehog Street have provided tips to encourage hedgehogs to your neighbourhood: add a five-inch hole at the bottom garden walls and fences to allow hedgehogs to roam safely and easily and minimise their need to cross roads; create a ramp in ponds and pools to allow hedgehogs to climb out; let plants grow wild in a wild corner of your garden for hedgehog nesting and to feed off insects; replace netting with a rigid structure to stop hedgehogs getting tangled; put out food and water such as meaty cat or dog food and water; stop using pesticides, insecticides and slug pellets which are toxic and reduce hedgehogs’ food sources; check before strimming; be careful with bonfires as hedgehogs may be hibernating or nesting; and make a home for hedgehogs such as via a log pile or DIY hedgehog house.
Marc Jones, founder the Hedgehogs of Nantwich! Facebook group, said: “It’s been really encouraging seeing the positive response to this group! I’ve done a map of Nantwich with sightings of our hoggy friends, it’s interesting to see how they have been spotted in all parts of Nantwich. Myself and several members will be putting some leaflets through letter boxes in the next few weeks, so keep an eye out for them!”
To join the ‘Hedgehogs of Nantwich!’ visit their Facebook group