Now we’re in November, autumn is well upon us, and so it’s time for Woking Hedgehogs to go into hibernation alongside our prickly friends. It’s been a successful first year for Woking Hedgehogs. The project launched during Hedgehog Week back in May, with a stall in Woking Town Centre and a talk by noted hedgehog ecologist, Hugh Warwick. We also made an appearance on the WEAct stand at Wild About Woking, with our popular pom pom hedgehog crafting.
The main focus for 2022 was setting up a wildlife camera library at the WEAct Hub in the town centre. With the support of Woking Borough Council, we obtained three cameras to lend out to members of the public for a period of two weeks, to discover if hedgehogs (or any other wildlife) were visiting their gardens. I’m very pleased to say that we were successful in our hunt, with four of the nine gardens surveyed finding a hedgehog.
A special mention must go to a garden in Horsell, which took the record of the most hedgehogs visiting, with a suspected eight individual hogs! Even gardens that didn’t manage to find a hedgehog enjoyed borrowing the camera, as they captured good images of other wildlife. No surprise that foxes were a common visitor to our gardens.
In addition to the gardens, one camera was placed in the grounds of a local nursing home. Although no hedgehogs were found this time, we did get a slightly unexpected result – a group of six mink were captured by the cameras! Mink are unfortunately an invasive species in the UK with a known presence in Surrey, but it was still interesting to see them on camera.
A selection of the images captured by the cameras can be seen on our webpage https://wokingenvironmentaction.com/woking-hedgehogs/.
Woking Hedgehogs is planning to lend out the cameras again next year, starting around early April. If you are interested in borrowing a camera or getting involved in our project, please do get in touch by emailing email@example.com.
Working with Surrey Wildlife Trust, we have been encouraging people to report their hedgehogs sightings. Although we did receive some reports, it would be great to receive even more next year, to show how great Woking is for hedgehogs. Reporting will be one of our points to focus on next year. Sightings can be reported on our webpage.
We are also working on our other plans for the project, particularly with regards to celebrating Hedgehog week on the 1st – 7th May 2023. Keep an eye on our webpage for updates!