Hedgehog Heroes of Shropshire Surveys
This is where you will find all of our updates on survey work, with image galleries through the process, links to get involved and the results for our surveyed areas across Shropshire.
What is our aim?
Upon beginning her role as hedgehog officer trainee at the Shropshire Wildlife Trust, Kathryn was met with great interest from different areas of Shropshire, who were experiencing an abundance of hedgehog sightings and wished to encourage those visits that hedgehogs made to their gardens!
Our hedgehog officer begins by distributing questionnaires to determine previous sightings and current garden management, before making a visit to survey the gardens for hedgehog-friendly garden features and habitats. Using camera traps and mammal tracking tunnels, current hedgehog presence would also be confirmed. The results of the surveys can then determine opportunities for improvement in the area to maintain hedgehog presence, such as installing hedgehog highway holes and maintaining areas ideal for nesting.
Hedgehog Heroes of Shropshire - 2021
The project is taking a more remote approach this year, in response to the unpredictability of Covid-19 restrictions. 2020 has been a very challenging year for all to come to terms with, but the isolation we have all had in our gardens and local nature reserves has truly stimulated more of a connection to nature than ever before, as well as a care for the wildlife on our doorstep - such as hedgehogs! The project goals remain the same this year, to work with local communities to assess hedgehog populations and garden sustainability to increase connectivity and provide guidance towards more hedgehog-friendly gardens.
The project outline is as follows:
Radbrook Area - Shrewsbury, April 2021
Approx. 175 questionnaires were issued on 12th April in the Radbrook area, and 38 in total were received back by the date of 3rd May. Many sightings both live and deceased were reported on both Radbrook road and Kenwood Drive as a majority. This can suggest that pockets of hedgehog populations are using the gardens on these roads in recent periods. Connectivity and habitats appear to be very hedgehog-friendly, so results suggest that areas need to work on providing active hedgehog encouragements such as houses and food. With the majority of hedgehog sightings being on these main roads, the suggestion of this being a corridor for hedgehogs can be backed up by the high levels of garden connectivity reported in questionnaires. This suggests that hedgehogs are finding ways to pass through most gardens with only 2 gardens having no access at all. This shows that hedgehogs are definitely moving through gardens, but perhaps aren’t being provided with enough food/houses for them to stick around for long.
Radbrook Area Hedgehog Survey - Questionnaire Data:
Oswestry, Trinity Area - April 2021
Approx. 150 questionnaires were issued on 14th April, and 23 in total were received back by the date of 5th May. Many sightings both live and deceased were reported mainly on Ferrers road and Roft Street as a majority. This can suggest that pockets of hedgehog populations are using the gardens on these roads in recent periods, and proving good levels of connectivity. An injured hedgehog had also been reported on Ferrers Road after getting tangled in netting, with another reportedly rescued on Ferrers Road too. As well as reports of hoglets in nests. Connectivity appeared to be an issue on Stewart Road and some on Ferrers Road, with no sightings correlating to no access. This suggests that there is a present population that could progress to Stewart Road if connectivity/access is granted. 87% of households in the area said that they do not use pesticides in their garden, and those that do try to make it seasonal, occasional, or strictly to specific areas. This is overwhelmingly positive.
Oswestry, Trinity Area Hedgehog Survey - Questionnaire data:
Pontesbury - April 2021
Approx. 175 questionnaires were issued on 5th April, and 25 in total were received back after 2 weeks. The results showed that populations don’t appear to be focused on one or two roads in particular, but are fairly scattered with sightings. With only 4 sightings to work with, it is hard to fully analyse a population in the area, but the scattered sightings do indicate a nice scattered population in the area. This can be good, showing high levels of connectivity, or could show a fragmented population, meaning there are barriers between movement. This could indicate that connectivity needs to be focused on here, to make sure hedgehogs can move freely. Identifying trends in results, also shows that wild areas and habitats in Pontesbury gardens are abundant and great examples of attractive nest and food sites for hedgehogs.
Pontesbury Hedgehog Survey - Summary of Results
Grinshill - Hedgehog Survey 2021
Approx. 175 questionnaires were issued on 17th May, and 23 in total were received back after a couple of weeks. The sightings both live and deceased were mainly reported from main cottages through the village that connect onto the main road, and we determined that connectivity doesn’t appear to be too much of an issue, but it is clear that hedgehogs are using the roads to travel, especially with lack of pedestrian pavement. This could indicate that we really need to focus on road awareness, as the general hedgehog population does seem healthy in itself, based from sighting reports. Identifying trends in results, shows that wild areas and habitats in Grinshill gardens are abundant and great examples of attractive nest and food sites for hedgehogs, but residents do need to try more active hedgehog-specific encouragements such as supplementary feeding and housing to further improve their gardens. So the main focuses are road awareness, and supplementary hedgehog encouragements.
The Belle Vue Hedgehog Survey 2020 (With Belle Vue Arts Festival)
Our hedgehog officer has teamed up with the Belle Vue Arts Festival this year (2nd May - 13th June) to encourage local residents to get involved with surveying their own garden patch for hedgehogs!
With absolutely no physical contact needed, Belle Vue residents can fill in an online questionnaire to determine your hedgehog sightings and garden management, as well as identify on a map what type of boundaries your garden may have. This can take only a few minutes, and you can learn how to do so on the Belle Vue Arts Festival website:
Tom Supple has pulled together a detailed map of his area (South Hermitage) in Belle Vue, where different boundaries and features have been labelled.
The 2nd stage of our hedgehog surveys are to bring improvements to the area based on initial information from the questionnaires such as hedgehog sightings, garden features and how gardens are managed. Further improvements are now being added thanks to Tom Supple and Dan Wrench to areas that lacked connectivity or wild areas for example, with hedgehog highway holes added and log piles to garden corners just to name a few.
Little Wenlock Village - 2020 Survey
In cooporation with the Little Wenlock Parish Council, hedgehog officer trainee Kathryn has teamed up with village resident Valerie Walton to launch the Little Wenlock hedgehog survey. The Parish Council actively supports wildlife conservation and has been discussing what the village can do to become more hedgehog-friendly. Residents are aware of an established hedgehog population in the village, so are keen to find out more about them and how the community is helping them.
As a first step, we are asking village residents to fill in a short questionnaire that will be posted through doors, and returned to a ballot box at the village hall during the week of 18th June - 25th June 2020. This should take no longer than 5 minutes to complete and the findings will be published in the Parish Newsletter, and used by the Hedgehog Heroes of Shropshire to determine Little Wenlock's hedgehog population and what residents are currently doing to encourage them. Step 2 will lead towards providing advice after viewing questionnaire results, on possible improvements in areas that may not currently be hedgehog-friendly.
Little Wenlock Hedgehog Survey - Questionnaire Data:
Step 2 of our Little Wenlock Hedgehog Survey 2020 involved village residents who had expressed further interest in wanting to make their gardens more hedgehog-friendly through the project. 3 options were offered:
Option 1: I would like to find out whether hedgehogs visit my garden:
This would involve placing a wildlife camera in a discrete area of your garden for one week to record any hedgehog activity. You will then receive a copy of the camera shots of any visiting hedgehogs.
Option 2: I would like to know more about what I can do to make my garden more hedgehog friendly:
This would involve a visit your garden to provide advice, guidance and support to help make your garden more accessible and safe for visiting hedgehogs.
Option 3: I would like some advice about a specific question or issue about hedgehogs in my garden:
This would involve a discussion about the specific question or issue which could be carried out by telephone or by email.
Garden visits and online enquiries were made to residents, with advice and support given based on their own questionnaires and their own gardens on what they could possibly improve or bring in to the garden to encourage hedgehogs. After our visits, some residents started to add some new hedgehog-friendly garden features such as hedgehog houses, feeding stations, wild areas, hedgehog highway holes and the provision of supplementary food. See what some of the Little Wenlock hedgehog heroes have done below, as well as some evidence of their garden visitors!
Clive Village - 2020 Survey
Working closely with trusted Shropshire Wildlife Trust volunteer and Clive resident Steve Varga, we welcome Clive village into the hedgehog survey 2020. Through footage previously seen, and expressed enthusiasm from residents, it is known that Clive has an established hedgehog population. Following the example of Little Wenlock, we wish to discover more about Clive's hedgehog population and what participants may be doing in their gardens to encourage them.
As a first step, we are asking village residents to fill in a short questionnaire that will be posted through doors, and returned to the address of resident Steve during the weeks of 25th June - early July 2020. This should take no longer than 5 minutes to complete and the findings will be published and used by the Hedgehog Heroes of Shropshire to investigate what residents can do to further encourage Clive's hedgehogs within their gardens. Step 2 will lead towards providing advice after viewing questionnaire results, on possible improvements in areas that may not currently be hedgehog-friendly.
Clive Village Hedgehog Survey 2020 - Questionnaire Data:
Step 2 of our Clive Village Hedgehog Survey 2020 followed the same option system as our Little Wenlock survey, with residents able to choose how they'd like to progress with the project.
Garden visits and online enquiries were made to residents, with advice and support given based on their own questionnaires and their own gardens on what they could possibly improve or bring in to the garden to encourage hedgehogs. After our visits, some residents started to add some new hedgehog-friendly garden features such as hedgehog houses, feeding stations, wild areas, hedgehog highway holes and the provision of supplementary food. See what some of the Clive Village hedgehog heroes have done below, as well as some evidence of their garden visitors!