In search of allotment hogs

This week Jo (one of our new hedgehog interns!) and I headed to Spring Road Allotments to set up some footprint monitoring tunnels.

It was a lovely sunny afternoon and it was great to see some very wildlife friendly features. We baited the tunnels with hedgehog food and placed them along linear features to increase our chances of detecting these elusive creatures.

We were very pleased to see lots of open compost heaps, log piles and pond ramps. Pond ramps are easy to make and can be a plank of old wood or pile of stones – anything to make a nice exit point out of the water. Hedgehogs can swim, but not indefinitely!

Even better is a wildlife pond with a shallow end that enables easy access and a safe environment for hedgehogs and other creatures to take a drink before exiting. It was also great to see lots and lots of tadpoles!

Unfortunately the weather was all over the place for the event, but we managed to squeeze everything in just before the hail starting falling. We were chuffed to have three out of four tunnels full of little footprints for us to identify. Our first tunnel was particularly exciting, with lots of lovely hedgehog footprints – success! We also detected a cheeky cat and lots of little rodent prints. Thanks to everyone that came along – to find out how you can borrow our footprint tunnels in Ipswich, please email hedgehogs@suffolkwildlifetrust.org

Allotment survey