Thursday 10 March 2016

Hedgehogs: Almost half of people in UK have never seen much-loved mammal in their garden, survey says

The hedgehog has suffered long-term population decline with populations thought to have fallen by 30 per cent since 2003

Monday 29 February 2016

Almost half of people have never seen a hedgehog in their garden, according to a survey that suggests more declines for the garden visitor. 

Just 29 per cent of people taking part in this year’s annual wildlife survey for BBC Gardeners’ World magazine had seen a hedgehog in  their garden in the last year, down from 32 per cent the previous year. 

Only one in 10 of the 2,348 of the people who took part in the survey said they saw the much-loved mammal regularly in their gardens and 48 per cent had never seen one. 

The hedgehog has suffered a serious long-term population decline and numbers continue to drop, with populations thought to have fallen by 30 per cent since 2003 to less than one million in the UK – down from an estimated 36 million in the 1950s. 

The survey suggests people are keen to save the species, immortalised by Beatrix Potter as Mrs Tiggy-Winkle and a friend to gardeners as it feeds on pests such as caterpillars and slugs. 

Asked which one UK species they would like to save from extinction, 52 per cent said hedgehogs, beating other at-risk British species such as the sparrow, puffin, mistle thrush and hairy-footed bumblebee. 

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