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Guest Blog – Suffolk Wildlife Trust

 

Suffolk Wildlife Trust is on a mission: to make Ipswich the most hedgehog friendly town in the UK! To achieve this goal we are creating a network of hedgehog friendly streets across the town. Hedgehogs roam far and wide, travelling on average around 2km in a night. A population, to remain viable, must have access to around 1km2 of habitat. This means that our green spaces alone, like our parks, allotments and playing fields, are often not large enough to sustain hedgehog populations.

We need a huge collaborative effort to ensure gardens are open to hedgehogs too. We are therefore calling on the help of Ipswich residents to create Hedgehog Highways – whole streets linked together with small ground level access points (holes the size of a CD case) and hedgehog friendly habitat, like log piles, wild areas and nectar-rich plants.

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to visit some of the grounds of Ipswich School to see how the grounds team, Paul and Terry, are helping wildlife. Upon arrival we looked at some of the hedgehog houses and natural log piles that had been created across the site, all of which are brilliant nesting and foraging habitat for an array of species, including the hedgehog.

The grounds of Ipswich School alone, however, are not large enough to sustain hedgehog populations. We need the surrounding streets to be hedgehog friendly too! Do you already have a hedgehog highway, or are you willing to make one? Ipswich residents that send through photos of their access points can receive a free set of lovely Hedgehog Highway plaques, to mark the purpose of the hole, and to ensure it doesn’t become accidently blocked.

If you’re keen for your whole street to become part of our hedgehog highway network – then please consider becoming a Hedgehog Champion. We have resource packs to help you spread the word to your neighbours, as well as trail cameras and footprint monitoring tunnels that can be borrowed to detect your elusive nocturnal garden wildlife. More information about our project can be found on our website: www.suffolkwildlifetrust.org/hedgehogs-action or by emailing me at hedgehogs@suffolkwildlifetrust.org

Ali North, Suffolk Wildlife Trust

About the Author

Ali North, Suffolk Wildlife Trust

ALi North is Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s hedgehog officer for Ipswich and she has been working with Ipswich School to help Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s campaign to make Ipswich the most hedgehog friendly town in the UK.

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