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Across the weekend of the 25-27th March, the people of Epsom & Ewell in Surrey came together to support a unique project called Return of the Hedgehogs. 50 hedgehog sculptures, crafted by local residents, appeared across the borough to inspire conversations about the impact of climate change and habitat loss on hedgehogs, and what we can do to help them. 

The hedgehogs then snuffled their way to Epsom Library where local MP, and species champion, Chris visited the project to find out more. 

“People from across my constituency came together to create their own prickly creatures in order to highlight the plight of the nation’s (and my own) favourite mammal. Hedgehogs have faced shockingly rapid decline as a result of nature loss and climate change with an average of 50% lost in rural areas since the turn of the millennium. 

This is something I take very seriously. All around us are species and habitats that provide warnings as to the state of our natural world. We must work together to restore our balance with nature, cut emissions and tackle climate change by supporting nature positive policy and net zero. 

The hedgehog is a species close to mine, and my constituents’ hearts, but each and every one of us can find our own species that drives us to do better. We can all play a role as guardians of our great British countryside, and leave it in a better shape than we found it for generations to come.”Chris 

Climate change, habitat loss and pollution are all big threats to hedgehogs.  That’s why The Climate Coalition and its member organisations want to inspire people to take action. From cutting holes in fences to allow corridors for them to roam freely in search of food and a mate, to leaving wilder areas in our gardens and planting hedges which can support up to 130 species. Or cutting back our energy usage to play a small part in combating climate change and reduce the impact on their breeding and hibernation patterns as a result of warming temperatures. Unless we act now, hedgehogs and many other quintessentially British  species, could eventually go extinct.

The Return of the Hedgehogs was a collaboration between The Climate Coalition, the Wildlife Trusts, National Trust, Woodland Trust, Surrey WI, CPRE Surrey and the local residents of Epsom & Ewell. 

To find out more about how you can help hedgehogs please visit the Wildlife Trust.