Around Madog Barn in Crai we have recently been very fortunate to see a large hedgehog snuffling along the lane, enjoying slugs and beetles. We hadn’t seen one for several years, a fact echoed by several people we have spoken to from different areas.
Hedgehogs were declared a priority conservation species in 2007 following 2 major surveys which indicated that a quarter of the hedgehog population had been lost in recent years.
Why hedgehog numbers are falling is not known for certain. Reasons could be:
- More intensive agriculture – with larger fields and the loss of hedgerows
- Use of pesticides such as slug pellets can reduce the amount of prey available.
- Smaller and tidier gardens , often paved over and with fencing that prevents hedgehogs moving between gardens may have reduced suitable urban habitats.
- Tens of thousands of hedgehogs are killed by road traffic each year and road deaths . Hedgehogs can travel 1-2km in a night over home ranges of 10-50ha.
How can we help?
We’d love to hear if you have spotted a hedgehog in the Upper Usk Valley so do let us know !