On the Hunt for Torchlight Safari Volunteers

Want to get up close to our native wildlife and see what animals come out as the sun goes down? We are currently looking for volunteers to help with our nocturnal torchlight safaris.

Our call for volunteers follows the launch last autumn of a monitoring programme for hedgehogs. Hedgehogs at two key ‘hedgehog hub’ sites in Solihull and Rugby are being marked under licence and monitored into the future, to see how our local ‘hog populations are faring.

Hedgehogs are in trouble nationally, having declined by up to 30% in urban areas and 50% in rural areas since the Millennium. We run a county-wide campaign and two Hedgehog Improvement Areas to raise awareness of the decline and inspire people to take action to help save their local prickly residents. The monitoring programme is focussed within the Hedgehog Improvement Areas, which are mainly funded by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society.

Our Senior Hedgehog Officer, Deborah Wright, oversees the projects and runs the torchlight safaris. She is keen to get more local people involved in creating a legacy for hedgehogs in Warwickshire. “The torchlight safaris are a brilliant way of seeing animals that people usually miss during the night. We walk set transects across sites, searching for hedgehogs by listening carefully and scanning the vegetation with powerful torches. When we find hedgehogs, we map them, check their health, sex and weigh them, and mark them with numbered tubes to help us keep track of them in the future. Torchlight safaris are exciting because you never know what you will find!”

Credit Simon Watts / WILD Presentations

If you are interested in taking part in the safaris, contact Deborah Wright by March 31st. You must be available to survey all night on multiple occasions in May and September and you must be physically able to walk long distances at a time. All training and equipment will be provided so there is no problem if you are a novice!