Trust is on the lookout for Suffolk's first Hedgehog Officer

Thursday 23rd June 2016

£5K crowdfunding drive launched to help support pioneering campaign to make Ipswich the UK's most hedgehog-friendly town.

Suffolk Wildlife Trust is looking to appoint the county’s first ever Hedgehog Officer as part of its campaign to make Ipswich the most hedgehog-friendly town in the UK.

The Trust’s Suffolk Hedgehog Survey and a recent Ipswich Wildlife Audit both highlighted Ipswich as a hedgehog hotspot, with remarkably rich, well connected wildlife habitat. However, like any modern townscape, it is fragmented by houses, roads, walls, fences and over-tidy gardens.

In what is a two year initiative, the new Ipswich Hedgehog Officer will work to give whole communities an understanding of hedgehogs, the reasons behind their dramatic decline and how they can help conserve them.

A key part of the role will involve mobilising participants in Ipswich to create a street-by-street network of hedgehog accessible habitat and monitor hedgehog activity; following the model of the ‘Hedgehog Street’ initiative developed by British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) and People’s Trust for Endangered Species.

By inspiring streets of people to act together to create habitat links and remove the barriers to hedgehog movement between gardens, the hedgehog officer will help establish a network of feeding, nesting and hibernating habitat across the town. Making Ipswich the most hedgehog-friendly town in the UK will help secure the species' long-term future in Suffolk, while also having a positive knock-on effect for other wildlife that stand to benefit from improved habitat.

The campaign is being supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the (BHPS), but the Trust is also now attempting to raise £5,000 of match-funding through crowdfunder.co.uk.

Kerry Stranix of Suffolk Wildlife Trust, said: “We’re really excited to be able to start recruiting for a Hedgehog Officer to become the face of our pioneering drive to make Ipswich the most hedgehog-friendly town in the UK. It really is an amazing opportunity for someone to help whole communities make a real difference for hedgehogs where they live, while also contributing to national conservation efforts through research.

"The Trust is so grateful to the HLF and the BHPS for their support and we’re now hoping that people in Suffolk will help us raise match-funding for the campaign by sharing or donating whatever they can to our crowdfunding page.

For full details of the job and how to apply, visit www.suffolkwildlifetrust.org

To support the campaign to make Ipswich the most hedgehog friendly town in the UK click here.