Helping the Hedgehogs—A Children's Workshop
Living in the UK, you have probably noticed that hedgehogs are a familiar habitant to see. They can be found virtually anywhere in Britain apart from a few Scottish islands, wetlands, and pine forests. To survive and live a healthy life, hedgehogs require a steady diet of suitable food and a reliable place to nest and raise their young. The British Hedgehog Preservation Society stated that hedgehogs are known to have adapted well to our city streets and have made use of our land. They are often found in private and public gardens, cemeteries, and railway land.
Hedgehogs are easily identified by their cone-shaped faces, short legs, round bodies, and the quills encompassing their backs. A quill is the name of the spikes commonly seen on the back of porcupines and hedgehogs. Even with their small size, a hedgehog can have between 5000-7000 quills!
A Diminishing Population For over 25 years, the UK has experienced a dramatic decrease in the population of hedgehogs. The population decline has been becoming more and more of a concern to the UK's residents, scientists, and environmentalists. The reason behind the declining population is the immense amount of dangers they face. It is essential to understand what problems hedgehogs are facing and how we can prevent them from continuing. These dangers are mostly man-made, and the harm done can easily be stopped with the help of a dedicated community. Dangers Hedgehogs Encounter The most common dangers to hedgehogs should be avoidable. Still, the choice is left to us as neighboring residents of hedgehogs. A few of these avoidable threats are as follows:
Loss of habitat: It probably doesn't come as a huge shock to hear that humans have destroyed the natural habitats of animals like hedgehogs. Although hedgehogs are adapting to our city streets, with fewer safe nesting spots, hedgehogs are facing breeding issues. Unfortunately, hedgehogs are not reproducing fast enough to balance out their deaths.
The decline in food supply: The biggest culprit for the loss of food supply is the pesticides and chemicals used on our gardens and crops. Hedgehogs mostly eat insects, such as slugs. So when we use pesticides, we kill off their food source, which causes tremendous threats.
Ingesting garden chemicals: For those hedgehogs that find insects to munch on, the danger is whether that insect has already consumed the poisonous substances. If a hedgehog finds itself eating a bug that has been contaminated, the effects of the poison will act on the hedgehog as well. These common garden chemicals can cause severe illness or, in many cases, death.
Create a Hedgehog Café
With a little effort from people like you and me, the hedgehog population can be repaired. One of the easiest ways to stop the harm and increase their safety is to build a proper place for the hedgehog communities to nest, hibernate, and breed. For reference, these habitats are commonly called hedgehog cafes and include hedgehog-friendly food served in a safe environment for the hedgehog to enjoy.
The Kindness Studio is hosting a workshop for children to increase awareness about hedgehogs across the UK. The workshop will include a fun source of information for children on their environmental impact, how to share their land with other creatures, and how to be responsible inhabitants of the world. Additionally, the attending children will learn about the hedgehog problem and be allowed to create their very own hedgehog cafe made from recycled materials. This experience will be both informative and educational, as well as a creative outlet for the joining children.
The event will be hosted at the Marylebone library in London. The workshop is designed for children (3 -12 years old) and parents are encouraged to participate in the discussion.
For more information on the future event, visit our upcoming event page. We hope to see you and your little one there!
Sources: About us (britishhedgehogs.org.uk) Hedgehogs - The Basic Facts (britishhedgehogs.org.uk)