Making Ipswich the most hedgehog friendly town in the UK by:
Creating a street by street network of hedgehog friendly streets across Ipswich
By recruiting Hedgehog Champions who will encourage neighbours to manage their gardens for wildlife, we hope to create a network of Hedgehog Highways across town. Champions will receive a resource pack (below) to help them with this task, and can borrow trail cameras and survey tunnels to help monitor their 'hogs. We hope all champions (and their neighbours) will send us a photo of their hedgehog fence holes so that we can map our progress - the first 250 participants can get a free set of Hedgehog Highway plaques to mark their ‘hog holes. Sign up to become an Ipswich Hedgehog Champion here.
Raising hedgehog awareness
By holding talks and community events we hope to increase awareness for the threats hedgehogs face and the action that can be taken. We will be running a range of events throughout the year, from evening talks about the ecology of the species to family activity days, surveys, training days and craft afternoons! Check our What’s On and Suffolk Wildlife Trust in Ipswich facebook page to find out more. Keep up to date with what we have been doing by following our blog.
Christmas hedgehog craft event and the hog pod meets Steve Backshall
Working with schools and community groups
By holding assembly’s and activity sessions at schools within Ipswich we hope to enthuse the next generation to help hedgehogs! Sidegate Primary school is the first to take part, with each class holding interviews for two Wildlife Ambassadors. They are learning how they can make their school grounds more wildlife friendly, and the importance of taking these ideas home to help improve connectivity for wildlife across the town. They will be creating their own leaflets to post to neighbours, and will be tracking who is making ‘hog holes on their big school map. Our work with Sidegate Primary school is part of a new initiative – Wild Ipswich – a collaboration of conservation organisations all working towards a common goal – to reverse the loss of biodiversity.
Primary school children inspired by our project after featuring on CBBC Newsround
Better understanding hedgehog ecology
We hope to better understand the ecology of hedgehogs by assisting Nottingham Trent University in validating a method for estimating hedgehog population density. This is a 7 week citizen science study being conducted in Spring 2017. We will be marking and recapturing hedgehogs within a ~1km area in Ipswich and GPS tagging a number to help us determine nightly distances travelled. Details on encounter rates from camera traps set up within our study area alongside mark recapture data will help validate the use of a statistical model (a Random Encounter Model) for estimating density. This is really important research as accurate estimates of population sizes will enable more effective conservation action.
Working with businesses to promote hedgehog friendly action
By working with fencing contractors and development planners we hope to raise awareness and increase the number of hedgehog friendly fencing and building options being implemented. Do get in touch if you would like help promoting hedgehog friendly options!
Fence holes installed by Ipswich fencing contractor Goddard Fencing Limited. Photos by Ipswich Hedgehog Champions Ann and Linda
How can you help?
1) Manage your garden for hedgehogs (Head to our Hedgehog friendly gardening page for advice).
2) Make a hedgehog hole and send us a photo. Mark it with a Hedgehog Highway Plaque (Email firstname.lastname@example.org)
3) Become a Hedgehog Champion - enthuse your neighbours to create Hedgehog Highways. More information can be found here.
4) Add your hedgehog records to our online map.