Hedgehog Friendly Village Project

Hedgehog eating at night

The hedgehog is a priority species in the Dedham Vale National Landscape Nature Recovery Plan.

After a successful pilot project with the East Bergholt community to create a Hedgehog Friendly village we are expanding the initiative to other villages in the Dedham Vale to create greater connectivity for hedgehogs across the National Landscape.

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:

  • Promote hedgehog Friendly gardening to Dedham Vale communities through the distribution of the Hedgehog postcards (below).
  • Distribute numerous hedgehog homes and hedgehog highway signs to villagers in the Dedham Vale with hedgehog holes in their garden.

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.  

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. 

Hedgehog Postcards

As part of our work to help hedgehogs in the Dedham Vale, we've put together these handy postcards!

The postcards explain more about the problem, our project, how you can help with some hedgehog-friendly gardening tips and how you can get involved.

We Are Connected Posters

People of East Bergholt - show your support for hedgehogs!

The aim is to encourage neighbours to become hedgehog connected so a hedgehog super highway starts to develop throughout the village.

Print off your poster, create your hedgehog and then add the poster to your window to show your support for the project!

Or, if you'd like a ready-made version, we have made some for you so you can simply print and display in your window.