Hedges and Hogs - need your help!

THE ENVIRONMENTAL RECORDS CENTRE FOR CORNWALL AND THE ISLES OF SCILLY (ERCCIS) is the newest member of the Cornwall AONB partnershiP. They want your hedgehog records right away!

It has been well publicised that one of our most beloved British mammals, the hedgehog (Erinaceus europeus), is in decline across the country. To help improve conservation measures here in Cornwall there is a need for up to date information and sightings of hedgehogs.  To encourage recording of hedgehog sightings, ERCCIS is focusing on hedgehogs and their habitat through 2016. The data collected through this campaign will help us understand the status of hedgehogs in Cornwall. 

Cornish Hedges and hedgerows provide a very important habitat for hedgehogs, providing good forage, refuges and safe traveling routes across the landscape. Hedges are also an important and iconic feature on the landscape, not just for hedgehog, by contributing to the character and biodiversity of the Cornish countryside. Hedgerows, and other traditional field boundaries, give us one of the strongest surviving links to past farming traditions as well as providing habitat links across the rural environment for wildlife. 

A well-managed hedge can be very species rich; supporting over 600 native species of flowering plant and ferns as well as providing important nesting and forage habitat for many species of birds and mammals, and being an increasingly vital habitat for pollinators and other invertebrates by providing food, shelter and breeding sites.

Get involved by sharing your sighting

You can make a real difference by simply sharing your sighting of hedgehogs, or any other wildlife, on Online Recording Kernow and Scilly (ORKS). Click on the ORKS logo to get involved and record your hog sightings!

Mapping Hedges

Knowing the extent of the hedge network in Cornwall is vital to informing and supporting effective conservation and management. Creating a map of the entire hedge network for Cornwall is a huge undertaking but this is exactly what ERCCIS is doing for the first time on a county scale in the UK. Using advances in technology, advanced computer processing and access to new data such as LIDAR (Light Imaging, Detection and Ranging) ERCCIS has identified hedge features across the Cornish Landscape, but we can only get so far without human input.  With a crack team of volunteers we’re now finalising the map to remove any oddities and improve the accuracy. The ERCCIS hedge team is also gearing up to start ground truthing by going out in the field as well as checking the presence, structure and state of the hedge at key site.

The team is first focusing on the Penwith area, so the information will feed straight into projects in the area such as the Penwith Landscape Partnership and Upstream Thinking  

To find out more, please contact 

Niki Clear – ERCCIS Data Officer

Niki.Clear@CornwallWildlifeTrust.org.uk

01872 273939 (Ext. 243)

Click on the logo to find out more about ERCCIS