The Last Hedgehog in Solihull?
We're losing one of the UK's most engaging and enigmatic species, the hedgehog. Aside from being a joy to see, their presence is a great indicator of the health and continuity of our environment. We launched our Solihull Hedgehog Improvement Area in 2015 and are seeking funds for its continuation.
February 2016 - February 2017
Charity information: Warwickshire Wildlife Trust
Hedgehogs have suffered a massive decline in the UK. It's thought that less than 1 million of our hedgehogs remain from an estimated population of 30 million in the 1950s. Unfortunately there's no simple fix, no single problem that we can pinpoint and change to begin to reverse this dramatic decline. A whole host of complex and interacting factors including habitat loss, reduction in food availability and fragmentation of the landscape are thought to be contributing to the loss we are seeing.
The Solihull Hedgehog Improvement Area isn't a nature reserve, a sanctuary or a park; it is the whole of Solihull. Our gardens, our churchyards, the patch of grass behind our offices, the field on which our children play at school; there is potential to help our hedgehogs all over. We believe that simple changes to the way that we think of, connect and use our green space can begin to make a difference.
Work with local communities to improve and connect green spaces for the benefit of hedgehogs.
Activities» Hold and attend community events across Solihull including practical work parties in public green spaces.
» Give talks about hedgehog conservation, promoting wildlife friendly gardening, increasing connectivity and green space management across the borough.
» Work closely with Solihull's schools at both primary and secondary levels to raise awareness of the issues and advise how simple changes can be made.
What success will look like
>> Worked with at least 30 schools.
>> Run regular work parties, workshops and training sessions.
>> Populated The Big Hedgehog Map with fence hole records.
To monitor the distribution and abundance of hedgehogs and hedgehog friendly gardens across Solihull
Activities» Continue using footprint tunnels to establish where hedgehogs are in Solihull and monitor areas where we know they are present.
» Continue to collect and map hedgehog sightings from across the borough. To map hedgehog fence holes using The Big Hedgehog Map
» To complete a study of hedgehog abundance at a selected site within Solihull and monitor this baseline.
What success will look like
>>Have at least 100 hedgehog tunnels in circulation throughout 2016.
>>Have successfully calculated an index of hedgehog abundance.
We envisage that in the long-term Solihull will be a more connected and continuous environment for wildlife and specifically hedgehogs. We hope to be able to demonstrate hedgehogs being recorded in areas where they were previously absent. We hope to be able to show an increase in hedgehog abundance by monitoring established baselines.
Insufficient funds could affect our ability to continue the delivery of this project. We have therefore put a number of fundraising schemes into place to minimize this risk.
We have set up a Help for Hedgehogs web page with information about the campaign and what we are doing. We are also providing regular articles in local press and in our member communications. Donors are encouraged to sign up for our e-bulletin which will contain regular campaign information.
Budget - Project Cost: £23,000Loading graph....
Amount Heading Description £9,500 Community Workshops A dedicated Hedgehog Officer to deliver training sesions, workshops and practical work-parties £12,000 Education Workshops Holding hedgehog assemblies and education sessions for primary and secondary schools £1,500 Educational Materials Production of printed educational materials to aid the project
The Hedgehog Improvement Area will continue to work across the whole borough of Solihull.
Hedgehogs and other wildlife will benefit from improved and better connected habitat across throughout Solihull.
People will benefit from an increased self of well-being by participating in the project, both when actively involved with work parties and through learning about the natural heritage of their immediate environment.
Warwickshire Wildlife Trust is the leading local environmental charity across Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull. Our Solihull Hedgehog Improvement Area Project is moving into its second year and as such we are well placed to successfully continue its delivery and development.
Read more about the Charity running this project.
Simon is Warwickshire Wildlife Trust's Hedgehog Officer. Simon will be responsible for the delivery of all training, survey and engagement activities.