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Wildlife Article – March 2023 – Hedgehog Tunnel Survey

Would you like to take part in a Hedgehog Tunnel Survey?

This year our Wildlife Group are running a Community Hedgehog Campaign by encouraging people to help these lovely little animals, however they can, by providing space for them in our gardens. Hedgehogs are reportedly doing well in people’s gardens, as the fences and walls shelter our spiky friends from predators and provide a good place for food. There is anecdotal evidence of hedgehogs in our village BUT we would like some firm scientific evidence of where they are, and we can do this with a Community Hedgehog Tunnel Survey. So would you like to find out if you have Hedgehogs in your garden? If so read on!

A Community Hedgehog Tunnel Survey is simple, easy and fun to do as it detects hedgehog footprints with a triangular shaped tunnel, edible ink, cat/dog food and A4 paper. This is how it works:

1. A tunnel is placed along a garden fence, wall or hedge for 5 days.

2. A small dish of dog or cat food is put inside the centre of the tunnel (this may need to be replenished everyday).

3. A line of painted non-toxic ink made of charcoal and vegetable oil is placed either side of the food (this may need to be replenished everyday).

4. 2 pieces of A4 paper is placed on both sides of the painted lines (the paper needs to be dated and changed everyday, images of the resulting footprints need to be sent to the organiser).

5. At the end of the 5 days, the organiser will collect the tunnel and it will be given to a new house in the village. (All results will be reported back to the community).

To put it simply, evidence of a hedgehog being present in your garden, requires a hedgehog to cross the painted ink to get to the food, before stepping off onto the paper with inky paws. We are delighted to say that we have access to a supply of resources for this survey, so it won’t cost anything to take part. All we need is people to agree to having a tunnel at their house for 1 week anytime between April and October 2023. Are you interested? Do you want to know if you have hedgehogs in your garden? If so please contact Sophie at wildlifefriendlyvillage@gmail.com or call 07758 739332.

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