Lockdown and less traffic on the roads across Dorset may have stopped the clock on the decline of British hedgehog populations.

Hedgehog numbers in the UK have plummeted by half over the past 20 years, however the spiky mammals are enjoying something of a resurgence and now experts are predicting a ‘hoglet boom’ next month.

Recent sightings and reports across Dorset noted hedgehogs are indulging in ‘noisy lovemaking’ and with many people saying they will drive less after lockdown and some continuing to work from home, it is important now, more than ever, for the people of Britain to do their part to protect these special animals.

Most baby hedgehogs arrive in June or July and hedgehog enthusiast’s hope there will be a huge wave of newborn hoglets in the coming weeks, as a result of the rise in reported mating cases.

Dorset Society:

“Hedgehog population levels have been a concern for decades so the recent increase in sightings is brilliant news for all wildlife lovers across the country," says hedgehog ecologist and author Hugh Warwick,"even if it took a national lockdown to make it happen!

“What we’re seeing is, in essence, a hedgehog ‘summer of love’ and, much like the predicted human baby boom in early 2021, I hope to see lots more hoglets arrive in June and July time, which is when the six-week gestation period typically finishes.

“It’s also likely that we’re getting more sightings of randy hedgehogs simply as a result of people spending more time in their gardens. If you do see a hedgehog in your garden, please do your best to help this wonderful creature - there are some really simple things you can do that will make a big difference to them.”

Wildlife expert Lizzie Jennings at Spike’s Hedgehog Food says: “Now that lockdown rules are starting to ease, we’re urging people to record hedgehog sightings when they’re out and about or in the garden.

“If you want to encourage hedgehogs into your garden, putting a small gap in your garden fence to allow them to get in and out easily and leaving out nutritious hedgehog food are just two simple ways you can help them survive as habitat loss continues to threaten their existence.”