It may be a prickly subject, but hedgehogs were the centre of attention at a recent event hosted in Llangollen, set up to increae awareness of the need for habitats in the county.

The Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’s Our Picturesque Landscape Project team put on a hedgehog focused event at Llangollen, as part of  Denbighshire County Council’s response to the climate and ecological emergency.

A number of families attended the recently renovated community centre in Pengwern  in Llangollen to learn about everything hedgehog related and to hear about local work to support the animals.

Hedgehog numbers have reduced over the last 20 years and the Hedgehog Preservation Society suggest there are a number of reasons for this.

One of the biggest is nature depletion, the loss of hedgerows and other areas suitable for hedgehogs. As their names suggest, hedgehogs like to live in and around hedgerows and use them to travel between different areas.

Where households have fences around their gardens rather than hedges it reduces the distance the hedgehogs can travel, limiting their food and mating options. Unfortunately, the insects and other invertebrates that hedgehogs eat have also reduced because of hedgerow loss, gardening practises and use of pesticides.

Many hedgehogs are found injured or unwell each year. They are most often rescued by members of the public who take them to charities such as Hedgehog Help Prestatyn. The rescue staff nurse them back to health and support them being released back into the wild.

The Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Our Picturesque Landscape project have previously welcomed rehabilitated hedgehogs to the grounds of Plas Newydd in Llangollen.  The hedgehogs are supported with a hedgehog house and food for their first few nights and then begin their new lives exploring the Llangollen area.

Councillor Barry Mellor, Lead Member for Environment and Transport, said “Protecting our native wildlife is incredibly important. Educating our young people and families in how to create the best habitat for hedgehogs to live happily will help to increase their numbers and reduce the number of sick and injured hedgehogs going to rescues”.

“Our wildflower meadows and tree nursery help to increase the food available to hedgehogs as well as many other birds and animals which rely on these habitats”.