Coveting your neighbour’s hedgehog?

11/12/2018 0 By wildfeed
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Hedgehog by David Gibbon

Ever wondered why your neighbour has hedgehogs in their garden and you don’t? The team at the Mammal Society hopes that you can help them to answer this question by completing a survey about hedgehog habits in your area.

Statistics from last year’s HogWatch survey show that over half of those who responded had seen hedgehogs in their gardens and, of these, 70% had encouraged them to be there.

This year the charity would like to know more about exactly what is attracting these increasingly elusive mammal into some gardens and not others. Are people who feed birds, for example, more likely to attract hedgehogs?

Mammal Society Chair, Professor Fiona Mathews, explains “Statistics from our recent review of Britain’s mammals tell us that hedgehog numbers could have declined by as much as 73% in the last 20 years. The more responses we receive to our annual HogWatch survey the more we can build a true picture of hedgehog habits, of what they are responding well to and what may be causing the dramatic decline.”

Prof Mathews continues “We are particularly interested this year in finding out if supplementary feeding from bird feeders is encouraging hedgehogs into some people’s gardens and not others. More importantly though, we’d like people to fill in the survey, even if they have never even seen a hedgehog, haven’t seen one for years or if the only hedgehog they have seen was a dead one on the road. This is all important information.”

To access the #HogWatch2018 survey before the 31 December 2018 deadline, go to or search for HogWatch on the Mammal Society website It takes between 2-10 minutes to complete, depending on how many hedgehogs you have seen. Even if you have completed a survey in previous years the Mammal Society would still like to hear from you. The information you provide will play an important part in protecting the future of one of the country’s favourite species.


Notes to editors

Picture by © David Gibbon – high res version available on request.

Click here for a link to some garden hedgehog footage filmed by Gordon Stevens. This video was submitted as part of our Hedgehogs and Lighting Project. We’re happy for online publications to link to this. 

For more information click here. Alternatively contact Beth Smith, Information Officer at Mammal Society at or call 02380 010981.

Annual Hogwatch Survey

  • This is the Mammal Society’s 3rd annual HogWatch survey.
  • Over the last 2 years almost 6700 people have completed the survey.
  • The HogWatch survey takes place annually in the autumn.
  • According to last year’s (2017) survey:
    • People reported seeing hedgehogs in gardens more than any other habitat.
    • 54% of people that reported seeing live hedgehogs saw them in a garden, similar to the 58% of people in 2016.
    • 73% of the people that saw hedgehogs in their garden fed them, an increase from the 64% in 2016.