28th September, 2016
During a cold evening in late September, a group of shivering (from excitement of course! …and a little from the cold) ConSoc members made their way down to the Brackenhurst campus carpark to meet up with Dr Richard Yarnell, a lecturer at the University and a hedgehog intellect, to hear about hedgehog surveying…
The group split into three and were given a section of the campus to survey. Then split into pairs to widen the search. Spotlights in hand and hats firmly pulled over cold ears, pairs went ahead walking around field margins shining light slowly from left to right and back again to search for the inconspicuous mammal.
Hedgehogs have undergone a drastic decline within Britain over the last two decades, resulting in the prickly creature listed as a species of principal importance to protect. This is why surveys need to be taken out; to find out the presence or absence of hedgehogs in rural habitats and the importance of different factors such as habitat features and badger presence. These surveys will be able to help with the protection of these humble animals.
Unfortunately, no hedgehogs were found on the sites being surveyed, however, our Vice President James came across one on his way home not far from the Brackenhurst campus! And there were sightings of Great crested newts, a European Protected Species!!