Woking Hedgehogs

Hedgehogs are one of the most charismatic and best loved animals in the UK, but they are struggling. The State of Britain’s Hedgehogs 2022 report found that hedgehog numbers had declined by as much 75% in some rural areas of the UK since 2000, with no sign of recovery. In contrast, the findings were more positive in urban areas, suggesting that hedgehog numbers were stabilising after many years of decline. This difference highlights just how important places such as Woking could be to sustaining the UK population, acting as a refuge from the pressures hedgehogs face in the wider landscape.

Woking Hedgehogs aims to raise awareness of just how critical our local greenspaces and gardens are for maintaining a healthy, growing hedgehog population. There are plenty of actions you can take to support these amazing animals, helping to make Woking as hedgehog friendly as possible (scroll down for our suggestions!)

Volunteers with this project can help by supporting awareness raising events and/or the administration of loaning out our wildlife cameras. This project is still new, having started in 2022 and we are looking for suggestions on how to develop it. If you have any ideas and/or would like to get involved, please do get in touch by emailing wokingenvironmentaction@yahoo.com.

Please read our blog post to see what we got up to in our first year: https://wokingenvironmentaction.com/2022/11/08/successful-first-year-for-woking-hedgehogs-project/

Report your hedgehog sightings

We are teaming up with the Surrey Wildlife Trust so that you can report your hedgehog sightings and photos, allowing us to identify and track their movements. Please use this form to fill in details of your sightings. To view sightings in Surrey, please follow this link.

Wildlife Camera Library

We also have a small number of cameras that can be loaned out to record hedgehogs in your own garden (as well as other wildlife). If you are interested in borrowing one of these cameras, please get in touch by emailing wokingenvironmentaction@yahoo.com

How to help hedgehogs: Wildlife Friendly Gardening

Create holes in your fences. Even the most wildlife friendly garden is of no help if the hogs can’t access it easily. Consider chatting with your neighbours and creating a ‘Hedgehog Highway’ along your street, linking multiple gardens to create even more space for hogs. Holes only need to be 13cm x 13cm.

Don’t use chemicals. Hedgehogs love to munch on snails, slugs and other garden pests. Using pesticides makes it harder for hedgehogs to find food and stay healthy. 

Embrace the mess. Hedgehogs love gardens that have more of a wild look (and it makes gardening easier for you!). Log piles provide places to hide and attract food. If a log pile isn’t an option, consider buying or building a hedgehog house. Native plants and wild corners will also attract other wildlife.

Ramps for ponds. Hedgehogs can swim, but often struggle to get out of garden ponds. Adding a ramp or shallow area ensures your garden is safe for hedgehogs.

Safe netting. Another safety issue can be netting, such as that used in football goals. Tie the netting so it is a foot off the ground, ensuring that no hogs can get tangled.

Water/Food. Although it shouldn’t be necessary to provide food on a regular basis, (especially if your garden is wildlife friendly) it can be a fun way to engage with your garden visitors. If you do wish to leave food out for hedgehogs, use dog or cat food. It is helpful to have a water source in the garden, particularly in the hot summer months.

Take care when gardening. Unfortunately injuries from mowing and strimming are common. Take care when doing these activities, checking any long grass first. If you have a bonfire, check the pile and try to burn the same day it is built, as hedgehogs think bonfires are ideal homes.

Spotted a sick hedgehog? Hedgehogs hibernate and are nocturnal, so if you see one out during the day, especially during the winter months, it may need your help. The British Hedgehog Preservation Society has more information on what to do: https://www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk/found-a-hedgehog/

Useful links

The State of Britain’s Hedgehogs 2022 Report – https://peoplestrust.wpenginepowered.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/SoBH-2022-Final.pdf

Hedgehog Street

British Hedgehogs