Hedgehogs used to be commonly seen in and around gardens and hedgerows but the hedgehog population is declining so badly there is a great nationwide move the conserve them. Hedgehog Awareness Week runs from 30th April to 6th May 2017. Hedgehog awareness week is a good opportunity to spend an hour teaching children all about them and how to try to help their declining numbers.
Firstly learning about them:
Nature e-books for kids share the wonderful video below as part of The Nature´s Amazing! Series.
Easy Science for Kids – share simple information and a video about hedgehogs. Slightly more advanced information is available at Primary Facts. This site is more suitable for KS2, covering more details about what they eat, what baby hedgehogs are called, where they live etc. Children could use this site to research their own project information.
The Ultimate Guide to Looking After Hedgehogs from DIY Garden provides lots of really useful information about caring for hedgehogs.
The British Hedgehog Preservation Society page is difficult for children but if you look down the home page they have a Mrs Tiggy Winkles video which shows a mother hedgehog making a nest for her babies. This is live footage and shows the hedgehog off really well for anyone who has not seen one. From the same site there is a letter written to children from Spike (Link Below):
Mrs Tiggy Winkle Has a Mate – is a very short video of two hedgehogs eating.
Can children help?
The British Hedgehog Preservation Society suggests ways that families can help with their garden and it is possible that children could persuade their parents to do some of the following:
- Ensure there is hedgehog access in your garden – a 13cm x 13cm gap in boundary fences and walls.
- Move piles of rubbish to a new site before burning it.
- Ensure netting is kept at a safe height.
- Check compost heaps before digging the fork in.
- Stop or reduce the amount of pesticides and poisons used.
- Cover drains or deep holes.
- Ensure there is an easy route out of ponds and pools. (British Hedgehog Preservation Society)