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How many hedgehogs are left?

Counting hedgehogs is difficult. The most recent estimate of the number of hedgehogs in England, Scotland and Wales, from 2018, puts the figure at 879,000, with about a quarter in urban areas.

But there is still a lot of uncertainty about the precise number.

Long-running mammal surveys are very important to monitor population trends.  Surveys by the British Trust for Ornithology, RSPB and PTES’ Mammals on Roads and Living with Mammals surveys have built a picture of how hedgehog numbers are changing.

PTES Living with Mammals survey data showing the proportion of sites reporting hedgehogs decreasing then stabilising.

Over half of hedgehogs have been lost from our countryside since the millennium and hedgehogs have disappeared from a third of sites in towns and cities. Here, however, in urban areas, numbers where hedgehogs are still found look like they’re increasing.

Further results are outlined in the most recent edition of the State of Britain’s Hedgehogs 2022 report.

Hedgehog distribution

While hedgehogs are still declining in some areas, they’re still found in most parts of the UK. The map below shows a widespread distribution, with almost comprehensive coverage across England. But it’s important to remember that distribution alone doesn’t show dwindling abundance that is seen in long-running surveys.

How do I know if there are hedgehogs in my area?