Hedgehog Action Plan for East Cambridgeshire

As the result of a public vote, Hedgehogs have been chosen as the endangered animal that residents would most like East Cambridgeshire District Council to support over the coming year. This means the council can now kick start a Hedgehog Action Plan which will include helping to raise public awareness and working with schools.

The council will also look at how its own premises, such as Ely Country Park, can be made more hedgehog friendly and provide support to organisations, such as parish councils and community groups to help create hedgehog-friendly habitats.

The action plan will also explore how the council can work with housing developers and social housing providers to incorporate measures such as “hedgehog highways” when building or renovating homes.

Emma Danielsson, the council’s Climate Change and Natural Environment Officer said, “The East of England has seen one of the biggest declines in hedgehog populations over the last 30 years, this is largely down to destruction of their habitats.

“This can be through using pesticides, the destruction of hedgerows and the fact many cannot access gardens because fencing gets in the way. There are also threats from cars, strimmers, chemicals, bonfires and badgers.

“It is not surprising that we are worried, and that East Cambridgeshire’s residents voted them top of the list in need of our help. 

“The fantastic news is that by taking a few simple measures we can all help increase their chances of survival in rural and urban areas.

“Easy things everyone can do include creating hedgehog doors in fences to ensure hedgehogs can move from garden to garden and providing a nesting box for them to hibernate in over the coming winter.”

Emma is also encouraging residents to log hedgehog sightings at TheBigHedgehogMap.org. Last year (2022) only 56 hedgehogs were recorded on the map in East Cambridgeshire. The council hopes with its support that number will soon rise.

More information is available on the hedgehog pages of East Cambridgeshire District Council’s website.

Hedgehog facts

  • The number of hedgehogs have declined by as much as 60% in the East of England since 1990s
  • Hedgehogs are lactose intolerant – don’t give them milk! Put out dog or cat food instead
  • The hedgehog’s only serious predator is the badger.
  • Hedgehogs may roam a mile each night to find enough food
  • Hedgehogs are the UK’s only spiny mammal
  • Hedgehogs usually hibernate from October/November through to March/April. 

What you can do:

  • Create hedgehog doors so you can link your garden with hedgehog highways
  • Report any sightings at bighedgehogmap.org
  • Put out clean, fresh water and cat biscuits or hedgehog food
  • Leave areas to grow to provide space for them to forage
  • Avoid slug pellets at all costs
  • Be careful with bonfires
  • Make ponds safe with a ramp

Click on the images below for more information on hedgehogs:-