Yesterday (Wednesday, 14th June), Joel James MS met with representatives from Hedgehog Helpline at the Senedd, to hear concerns regarding the decline in UK hedgehogs and what strategies could be used to preserve this quintessential staple of British wildlife.
Hedgehog Helpline is Wales’ largest Hedgehog charity, which is dedicated to rescuing sick, injured, and orphaned wild hedgehogs across South Wales and releasing them back into the wild. Each year, the charity rescues and aids approximately 1,200 hedgehogs. They ultimately strive to rescue, rehabilitate, and release hedgehogs back into their natural habitat.
Joel was joined by hedgehog rescue workers Sarah and Graham who underscored the urgent nature of the situation and how decisive government action was needed to ensure that future generations could enjoy the company of the hedgehog, as we did, in years to come.
At the event, Joel learnt that hedgehog numbers have drastically decreased since the 1960s. Sadly, the UK has lost 97% of our hedgehogs, with the species experiencing an overall decline of 46% in the past 13 years. Injuries from strimmers, mowers and garden forks are all too common despite the minimal effort it takes to counter these accidental hedgehog deaths.
Joel remains committed to the conservation of all plant and animal species across the territory of the British Isles and looks forward to entering correspondence with similar charities.
After enjoying a conversation with Sarah and Graham, Joel said:
I was deeply touched by what Sarah and Graham told me today about our native hedgehog populations. I cannot believe they are now classified as vulnerable to extinction and have been added to the Red List of British Mammals.
Residents have regularly informed me of the brilliant work that the volunteers at Hedgehog Helpline do so it was brilliant to speak to them today.
We must do everything we can to save this quintessential British animal and I am committed to helping the charity going forward.
Please contact the Hedgehog Helpline on 07557646773 or visit their website if you see a hedgehog:
- Out in the day (unless a large hedgehog is acting with purpose – rushing around with nesting materials)
- Lying out in the sun
- Wobbling may appear drunk
- Dragging a leg
- Caught in something like Netting/elastic bands/cable ties/fences/between walls
- Surrounded by flies/birds
- In a pond/swimming pool/drain
- Out of nest (hoglet)