Hedgehogs are disappearing fast – gardeners to the rescue

The   decimation of the UK’s prickly population hasn’t been recognised as the   tragedy it is. They need some championsHedgehogs are disappearing as fast as the tiger. And if the   latter was roaming our countryside it might have more of a fighting chance: I   wouldn’t find two dead tigers squashed on the road within a mile of each   other like the little prickly carcasses I saw last weekend.

Tigers are also getting   plenty of international help – charismatic “megafauna” always does   – but for all the “ahhs” induced by Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, the hedgehog   was not even counted scientifically in Britain until recently.

A new State of Nature report by 25 conservation groups   including the Wildlife Trusts, the RSPB and the Mammal Society is predictably   depressing: most British species are struggling and one in three have halved   in number in the past half century. Hedgehogs have disappeared even more   dramatically. Even if the 30 million population estimate from the 1950s is a   massive over-exaggeration, hedgehogs have declined by more than 90%. Numbers   have fallen by more than a third since 2003 and fewer than a   million roam our countryside today.


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