London's hedgehogs are in trouble, with the city's population falling by nearly a third since 2000. We need to act fast to reverse this decline, but we can only do this with practical action. We wish to reverse this shocking decline and ensure Ealing's hedgehogs can thrive by being connected to suitable habitat through the borough. The big issue we plan to address is barriers to movement: more fences and busier roads make it harder for hedgehogs to hunt for food - and find a mate - while also making movement more dangerous. We hope to bring local awareness and practical solutions to tackle this issue whilst engaging the community in practical support and how they can help wider wildlife conservation in their own gardens as well as community green spaces. We have a pilot running in Hanwell and Pitshanger and we want to extend this to Northolt, Southall and Acton to engage a wider community engagement with those who may not be as engaged with or have as much access to green spaces.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
First and foremost, we would expect the local hedgehog population to benefit from this project and we would be able to monitor this over time through further remote camera monitoring. Secondly, there is community benefit from working together to improve connected spaces. We would produce flyers/leaflets for door to door distribution to promote the study and encourage local residents to join the Hedgehog Highway campaign. When hedgehogs are thriving it’s reasonable to assume that other creatures will be too as hedgehogs are an ‘umbrella species’; presence demonstrates all is well in the local environment. A thriving hedgehog population indicates a plentiful supply of invertebrates, good diversity of habitat and connectivity of the natural environment. These things are important to a whole range of wildlife as well as hedgehogs. We are positioning this as part of a wider geographical study to include ZSL London Hogwatch with plenty of opportunities for volunteers to become involved.
Steps to get it done:
We have had huge support for the current pilot and we are particularly keen to improve the profile of wildlife in parts of the borough where we have not had much impact previously. For this reason we are focussing on Acton, Southall and Northolt for this project.
About the space
Neighbourhoods surrounding the parks
London Borough of Ealing