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Hedgehogs and the Nature Crisis

This year our Wildlife Group are trying to help Hedgehogs along with other animals and plants. But why should we do this? And how does the helping of hedgehogs help everything else? The plight of the hedgehog is just one of many reasons why the Wildlife Friendly Village Group is active in Risby. So let’s begin with the humble hedgehog and why we should help them:

  • Hedgehogs are an important part of the ecosystem. They help to control pests, such as slugs and snails.

  • Hedgehogs are a ‘vulnerable to extinction’ species. Their numbers have declined by 30% since the year 2000 due to habitat loss, fragmentation, and climate change.

Here are some ways that you can help hedgehogs:

  • Create a hedgehog-friendly garden. This means providing food, water, and shelter for hedgehogs. You can do this by planting native plants, leaving brush piles, and providing a water bowl.

  • If you find a hedgehog that is injured or orphaned, contact a wildlife rehabilitation center.

  • Spread the word about the importance of hedgehog conservation. Talk to your friends, family, and neighbours about hedgehogs and what they can do to help.

By taking these steps, you can help to ensure that hedgehogs continue to thrive in our world. Hedgehogs are a ‘flagship species’ as they are a representation of how damaged our natural world is at the moment. As the recent Sir David Attenborough BBC Wild Isles programs have shown, we are in a Nature Crisis, which affects us all. What is a Nature Crisis? The nature crisis is the rapid and accelerating loss of biodiversity caused by human activities. This loss of biodiversity is happening at all levels, from the loss of individual species like the hedgehog, to the loss of entire ecosystems. This rapid loss of species is estimated to be between 1,000 and 10,000 times higher than the natural extinction rate.


There are many factors that are contributing to the nature crisis, including, habitat loss and fragmentation, overexploitation of resources, pollution and climate change. The nature crisis is having a devastating impact on the planet: it is leading to the extinction of species, the degradation of ecosystems, and the disruption of essential services that nature provides, such as pollination, water purification, and flood control.


The nature crisis is also a threat to human health and well-being. It is increasing the risk of pandemics, food insecurity, and water scarcity. We need to take urgent action to address the nature crisis. We need to reduce our impact on the environment, protect natural habitats, and restore ecosystems. We also need to change the way we think about and value nature. The nature crisis is a serious threat, but it is not too late to act. By working together, we can create a more sustainable future for ourselves and for nature.


References:

https://ptes.org/campaigns/hedgehogs/


Wildlife Working Group News

Community Hedgehog Footprint Tunnels – Hedgehog tunnels, would you like to see if you have visiting hedgehogs in your garden? If so please contact us and book your tunnel: it's fun, easy and free to do!


Wildflower Borders – this year the Wildlife Group have sown Red, White and Blue Wildflower seeds around the village to help tackle biodiversity loss and celebrate the King’s Coronation. These seeds have been kindly given to us by Kings Crops (https://www.kingscrops.co.uk/) and the WildEast (https://www.wildeast.co.uk/). The seeds have been sown in and around the village wild areas, given to residents to plant in their gardens and have also been sown in the planters around the Village Hall. If you would like to have some free seeds, please contact us.


E:wildlifefriendlyvillage@gmail.com



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