Hedgehog Friendly Village Project

Hedgehog child

The hedgehog is a priority species in the Dedham Vale AONB Nature Recovery Plan. We are working on a pilot project with the East Bergholt community to create a Hedgehog Friendly village. 

If it’s successful, we’ll work with other villages in the Dedham Vale to create greater connectivity for hedgehogs across the AONB. 

In the past decade over a half of rural hedgehogs and a third from towns and cities have been lost. 

Areas in and around towns and villages can be excellent habitats for hedgehogs, and hedgehogs often prefer them over farmland. 

This decline is not sustainable so we are working with the local community to create: 

A hedgehog superhighway

Hedgehogs travel around one mile every night through parks and gardens in their quest to find enough food and a mate. No one garden is enough. Hedgehogs need neighbourhoods of linked-up gardens and countryside to survive. 

One of the main reasons why hedgehogs are declining in Britain is because our fences and walls are becoming more and more secure, reducing the amount of land available to them. Creating holes, 13cm by 13cm, in or under our garden fences and walls will mean they can pass through.

What we are going to do:

  • Work with local volunteers to train them up as hedgehog champions to help villagers create holes in their fences
  • Loan out footprint tunnels and two wildlife cameras so villagers can see what wildlife is in their garden
Hedgehog eating at night
Hedgehog in autumnal leaves

Hedgehog-friendly garden features

Gardening with hedgehogs in mind is easy. Once gardens have been linked , hedgehog friendly features such as log piles, compost heaps, leaf piles, an overgrown corner, wildflower patch, pond and hedgehog home can be introduced.                                                                                

What we are going to do:

  • Run events to promote wildlife friendly gardening
  • Produce a leaflet with top tips to help make your garden hedgehog friendly
  • Build 25 hedgehog homes with the local community groups 

Connectivity to the countryside

As mentioned above hedgehogs travel long distances for food and a mate so connecting them to other habitats in the wider countryside is important.

What we are going to do:

Work with volunteers and landowners to map where hedgerows are so we can identify where scrub or new hedges can be planted or gapped up in 2022.  

If you would like to help volunteer with any of the above, please contact Emma Black, Countryside Projects Officer by email or Alex Moore da Luz, Nature Recovery Officer by email. Alternatively, please phone on 01394 445225.