Ecologist and writer, Hugh Warwick has a particular fondness for hedgehogs. He has been studying hedgehogs for over twenty years, ever since an expedition to the Orkney Islands in 1986. He takes almost every opportunity to talk about hedgehogs and to raise awareness about the current and sad state of the species. The British Hedgehog Preservation Society have made him a lifetime member in recognition of his contribution to hedgehog conservation efforts.
In 2011 the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) in partnership with the People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) published a report on the state of Britain’s hedgehog population. It turned out that by 2011, there had been a 25% decline in the previous 10 years. The report was updated in 2015 and the truth is shocking. The report states:
“Since 2000, rural populations have declined by at least a half and urban populations by up to a third.”
If someone mentions the name Beatrix Potter, we all say: oh yes, I remember her tales from my childhood. Even me myself was much fascinated by the tales of Peter Rabbit -it is a huge compliment to Miss Potter, considering the fact that I grew up in Hungary. Beatrix is, without any doubt, one of Britain’s favourite children’s book writers. Many of Beatrix’s books were based on the countless pets she had kept during her life and the adventures she had in Scotland.
In June 2013, a nationwide poll was organised by the BBC Wildlife magazine. The aim of the poll was to give Britain a national species because it never had a natural emblem to represent the national identity. The hedgehog picked up 42 per cent of the 9.108 votes cast and has beaten off stiff competition from the badger and oak. The hedgehog deserves to be a national wildlife icon since hogs have been rooting around the UK for more than 9500 years, making it more native than most of the country’s own ancestors.