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The Hedgehog Street team

Meet the team behind the Hedgehog Street campaign

» Grace Johnson, Hedgehog Officer for Hedgehog Street

I like hedgehogs because… They’re a brilliant engagement animal! Being so cute and easily recognisable, they get new people interested in wildlife and conservation. They’re like celebrities of the UK wildlife world, you’re very lucky to see one and even more so have them in your own back garden. It’s so sad to see that numbers are dwindling due to various threats, so I’m keen to do all I can to help our little prickly friends!

A bit about me I’m passionate about conservation and so excited to get stuck into Hedgehog Street, a partnership project between the People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS). It’s an honour to take over this project, which has been previously been expertly run by my predecessor Emily Wilson. I have a Zoology degree and have previously been working with bats, so understand the conservation needs of UK mammals. I’m also a keen traveller and have been lucky enough to see some incredible animals in their natural habitat, including orangutans, pygmy elephants and manta rays. An especially memorable experience was seeing a hedgehog strolling around the streets of Dubrovnik last summer!

Fay Vass, Chief Executive of BHPS

» Fay Vass, BHPS CEO

I like hedgehogs because… Hedgehogs are special; you can interact with them perhaps more than other wild animal. To protect themselves they curl up in a ball rather than flee so if you wait patiently and keep quiet you are rewarded by being able to watch them snuffle round and amble off. Seeing a hedgehog in the wild is always a treat and I remember a hedgehog visiting the garden being one of my very first wildlife encounters as a child.

A bit about me I started working part time at the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) in 1999 and gradually took on more and more responsibility until I became Chief Executive. A large and important part of our current work, and therefore my job, is Hedgehog Street. We work closely with the PTES to try to help hedgehogs in practical ways and funding important research to help us better understand how we can further assist the species.  As well as Hedgehog Street, the BHPS produces a wide range of information leaflets for the public, vets and schools, most of these are available on our website.  I am alarmed at the current rate of decline of the hedgehog population. I sincerely hope that our work will help slow or halt that decline.

» Jill Nelson, PTES CEO

I like hedgehogs because…. they are fascinating, amiable animals that have evolved in such an interesting way. They’ve co-existed with us for so long that the prospect of them dwindling is hard to bear. I’m not alone. They regularly top the favourite animal polls which is why so many wonderful people are joining us in the fight to save them.

A bit about me I’ve been running People’s Trust for Endangered Species since 2005. I’ve always worked in scientific organisations and done my best to involve all sorts of non-specialists and well as scientists in research that leads to successful, practical action. PTES supports conservationists working on a very broad range of endangered species worldwide, as well as those right on our doorstep like hedgehogs. Sadly, our wildlife is disappearing. Almost two thirds of species in the UK have declined in the past 50 years. Over 65,000 are on the international alert list. There’s nothing natural or inevitable about this. It can be stopped. And through our work with the British Hedgehog Preservation Society we’re determined to stop hedgehogs declining.

» Imogen Chase, PTES Intern

I like hedgehogs because…

I grew up with a very strong fondness for Beatrix Potter works, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle being a firm favourite, and was lucky enough to regularly see these spikey visitors in my own back garden. The hedgehog seems to be loved by almost everyone, and is probably the most adored of all our native species. Until the hedgehog I never realised the extent to which an animal could bring people together, which makes its preservation even more paramount.

A bit about me…

I’ve come from a very conservation orientated background having studied Biology at University as well as having volunteered with the National Trust and the Natural History Museum. My passion for protecting mammals is not exclusive to the hedgehog as I also have a soft spot for bats having worked briefly to promote their conservation. From May to October I volunteered once a week to support the Hedgehog Street Campaign and was recently appointed as the PTES office-based intern. Luckily, 3 days a week I get to continue to help Grace out with the HS campaign to keep promoting our prickly friends!