It is likely that there are now fewer than a million hedgehogs left in the UK, photo Dave Kilbey 1/3
House martins are rapidly declining, but it is not clear why, photo by Josh Jaggard 2/3
Butterflies are valuable indicators of the health of the environment, photo by Sam Hall 3/3

Summer garden wildlife survey to help protect species in Norfolk

Friday 01 June, 2018

Norfolk Wildlife Trust launches a new wildlife spotter survey to record sightings in gardens of hedgehogs, peacock butterflies and house martin nests this summer.  

You don’t have to be an expert to make a valuable contribution to local knowledge of Norfolk’s wildlife. Recording wildlife is an easy way to get involved in wildlife conservation. It helps us to understand an animal’s distribution across the county, and identify any areas particularly important or lacking in these species.

According to a project run by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, three recent surveys all indicate downward trends in hedgehog populations: We appear to have lost around 30% of the population since 2002 and therefore it seems likely that there are now fewer than a million hedgehogs left in the UK. You do not have to see it to know it is visiting your garden: if you see hedgehog droppings or footprints you can still submit your record.

Look up high and see if you can find a house martin nest on the side of your house or on any buildings where you live. House martins are rapidly declining, but it is not clear why, so knowing their distribution in Norfolk is important to aid their conservation.

Peacock butterflies are frequent visitors to gardens, often seen feeding on buddleia, ivy blossom and bramble. With red wings and distinctive eyespots, this butterfly is an easy garden visitor to spot. Butterflies are valuable indicators of the health of the environment; submit your peacock butterfly sightings and put them on the map.

Add your sightings to our map!

Head of People and Wildlife at Norfolk Wildlife Trust, David North said: “Your garden can play an important role in the conservation of Norfolk’s wildlife, and can be host to many different species, from grass snakes to goldfinches, daisies to damselflies. A garden managed with wildlife in mind can be a place that provides food, shelter and protection for wildlife in your local area. A garden border full of nectar-rich flowers can be a vital source of food for bees and butterflies, a compost heap a home to a hedgehog, the side of your house the perfect location for a house martin nest.

“Now is a great time of year to be looking for these three distinctive species. Norfolk Wildlife Trust would like you to keep your eyes peeled this summer while you’re enjoying your garden and add sightings to our map. Every wildlife record counts and will be of value.”

To share your sighting, NWT will need to know what species you saw, where you saw it: try and be as specific as possible, when you saw it, and who you are.

Sightings can be submitted easily to our map, where you will also be able to see a distribution map of all the sightings submitted so far. You can also phone your wildlife sighting to Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s Wildlife Information Service  on 01603 598 333.
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