Join our army of hedgehog surveyors in Surrey Heath!
The Amazing Grace campaign is making Surrey Heath Hedgehog friendly and in doing so is also aiming to increase hedgehogs number within the borough. In order to increase hedgehog numbers we need to know how many we have. We are carrying out surveys of hedgehogs in the Surrey Heath District.
We have been installing hedgehog footprint tunnels at different locations within the active hedgehog period (May - October). Footprint tunnels are an easy and effective way of establishing whether hedgehogs are present in an area and can be used with very little training, which we offer at our training evenings throughout the year.
You do not have to be a footprint expert! We provide you with all the survey kit, including footprint guides! These surveys can be undertaken any time between May and October and involve a commitment of setting up a site and then surveying for five consecutive days. The tunnels must be checked and re-baited every day during daylight hours. We have sites all across the borough of Surrey Heath which need surveying - some require only one tunnel and some require more, so we can cater for all volunteer commitment levels.In order to survey for hedgehogs, footprint tunnels are used which are baited with food. Tunnels are placed in areas which are suitable for hedgehogs and generally along linear features which are preferred by hedgehogs. Hedgehogs are really ‘Edgehogs” and tend to walk around the edge of an area. Once a hedgehog or other animal smells the food, it enters the tunnel and walks over the ink which is either side of the food bowl. The animal then eats the food and walks back out of the tunnel over pieces of white paper, leaving its distinctive footprints behind.
If you would like to help us survey sites on Surrey Heath, we will be looking to survey again in 2019 and are looking for volunteers to help us. Please click on the link below and fill in the form to register your interest and we will let you know the training dates.
We will use the data collected to influence local efforts regarding hedgehog conservation.
Do you know of a site which may not be included on our survey site list? Get in touch today and help us survey for hedgehogs on private land within Surrey Heath.
We provide with the training and all the paper work needed. This can be collected form our offices and once completed the data sheets need to be returned to us.
Place your tunnel in your desired location just before dusk if possible. Tunnels should ideally run lengthwise along a boundary such as fence or wall, but if this isn’t possible, its best along the edge of a grassed area adjacent to vegetation such as flowers or bushes.
Once you are happy with the position, fill a jam jar lid with the hedgehog food supplied. Gently slide the lid into the tunnel until it reaches your #amazingGrace base plate, and leave overnight. You must remove the tunnel and check your results early in the morning during daylight. Please don’t feel disheartened if you haven’t received a visitor your first night, continue with the same routine for five nights.
Now’s the fun bit! On removing your paper in the morning, there will hopefully be evidence of tracks.
The data sheets need to be returned to us once completed for analysis.
Some footprints form previous surveys
Torching or spotlight surveys
These are undertaken at night and involve following specific routes, with a high powered torch, to identify roaming hedgehogs in the field. Volunteers will undertake these surveys in pairs or small groups and will listen out for rustling sounds, hedgehog courtship noises, as well as looking for individual hedgehogs by torchlight. These surveys help us build up an idea of hedgehog populations, as well as hedgehog foraging routes. Full training will be provided.
Please click below to register and join 'Grace's Survey Army' now.
Once you have signed up we will keep you updated by a monthly email. It will contain news of the surveys, what we are doing and how much area we have covered. Thank you so much for your support - our hedgehogs need you!