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London HogWatch

18th February 2020

Study reveals London’s hedgehog hotspots

Last year, scientists from ZSL’s London HogWatch set out to identify which green spaces in London are being used by hedgehogs. Hundreds of wildlife cameras were used across several of London’s parks and green spaces to look for urban hedgehog populations.

Hedgehog ‘hotspots’ were found in the north and west of London, with Hampstead Heath hosting the largest population. Areas surveyed in the south east of the city however, showed much lower hedgehog numbers despite being similar to the areas where hedgehogs are doing well.

We don’t know why hedgehogs would be doing so well in some areas, but less so in others, when the habitats look similar. One explanation could be that these areas are isolated from larger green spaces, meaning there’s no safe passages to enable hedgehogs to access these sites from outside.

Rachel Cates, London HogWatch

The State of Britain’s Hedgehogs 2018 showed that we have lost a third of urban hedgehogs since the millennium. The good news is that urban numbers appear to be turning around. Studies like this into urban and suburban areas are therefore vital to understand how we can help vulnerable populations.

Find out how urban hedgehogs are doing in your area on the BIG Hedgehog Map, and see how you can help them.

Urban and suburban areas are increasingly important for hedgehogs.
Photo by Hedgehog Champion Julie Wilkinson.