Report on Thurgoland Tunnel Survey May 2016
Ten survey tunnels were placed in gardens, cemetery and playing field in Thurgoland for five consecutive nights in early May. The result revealed that hedgehogs are present in the village. Two tunnels were visited by hedgehogs both located in gardens off Cote Lane. The two positive tunnels were close enough for the footprints to be left by the same hedgehog. During the survey period an adult hedgehog was found dead on the main road near the church.
The other tunnels did not show the presence of hedgehogs. Most were frequently visited by small mammals – mice and voles and slugs!
Hedgehog Footprints from Thurgoland
The tunnels survey has confirmed that there are hedgehogs in Thurgoland but the results suggest the population is quite small at present. Many people who took part have agreed to continue as Hogwatchers and report further sightings which will help improve the data for the village.
The environment in the villages suggests that it should support a good population. If numbers are currently low, the reasons need to be further investigated. These may be complex and take time to unpick (see http://www.ourhogwatch.org.uk/hedgehogs/why-are-hedgehogs-in-decline/ ) . However people can help restore populations by providing plenty of cover in gardens and on farms , avoid using slug pellets , provide ramps for escaping from ponds and leave gaps in fencing to allow hedgehogs to roam in search of food and mates. Care with bonfires and strimmers is also important to protect sleeping and hibernating hedgehogs.
Many thanks for everyone in Thurgoland for their help with the survey. We look forward to getting your reports of future sightings.