Hedgehog Torchlight Tour

Ali North

It's Hedgehog Awareness Week and we invited you to find out more about hedgehogs, how to help them, and go on a night time walk in search of the elusive creatures themselves!

Last week we gathered at the Activ Lives CRESS pavilion as part of Hedgehog Awareness Week.  After a talk highlighting 7 threats, 7 actions & 7 top video clips of hogs, we ventured out into the community garden and allotments in search of hedgehogs. We split into two smaller groups and it didn’t take long for our group to spot our first hedgehog snuffling along the edge of a plot.

We didn’t have to wait long for our next wildlife sighting as the bright torch beam caught a glimpse of a fox down an allotment trail, followed soon after by two little fox cubs dashing back into their den.

Next up we had a large common cockchafer (which I have been informed is known as a Billy Witch in these parts!) zooming towards us at full speed. It decided to hitch a ride on my coat for the rest of the night so we could admire it’s beautiful large lashes. These ‘lashes’ are used to detect pheromones so that males can find females even at night – their adult life is brief so they need to find their mates quickly!

The second group then spotted another hedgehog – or the first hedgehog annoyed at being startled by the torch twice – scuttling across the allotment path towards a big compost heap.

We were treated to one last glimpse of a young fox as we approached the pavilion for the end of the night, lying close to the ground just 10m away from the entrance. His pointy ears silhouetted against the fence line until he realised we were watching, and he quickly dashed away towards the houses.

Thanks to everyone that came along and don’t worry if you couldn’t make it this time. We’ve got another torchlight tour at Bourne Park in August, book here.