Sustaining Dunbar’s Pledgehog Project officially began in 2023 when they were successful in being given funding from the Dunbar and East Linton Area Partnership to run for a year. Jen Walker started working as the Project Officer and began to get out and about in the town to encourage people to get involved in helping hedgehogs in their local area.
She had already been involved in some hedgehog activities, starting to find out a bit about hedgehogs in the local area by starting up the Dunbar Hedgehog Group on Facebook and chatting to others about sightings of these elusive creatures. A couple of night time trail cameras had been bought thanks to funding from Dunbar Community Council’s ‘Community Benefit Fund’ and were being given out to local people who wanted to find out if they had hedgehogs visiting their gardens.
“I have always had a passion for nature and wildlife gardening and knew that hedgehogs were at risk of extinction in the UK. I wanted to try to do more than just making my own garden hedgehog friendly and found that many other people in Dunbar were enthusiastic about helping hedgehogs too”, explained Jen
As well as helping hedgehogs, the project hopes that when people create more wildlife-friendly gardens and wildlife corridors throughout the town this will be of great benefit to all sorts of insect and animal life too.
Also by sharing a mutual interest in hedgehogs, people can become more connected with their neighbours, helping with social isolation. Spending more time outdoors in the natural world can also provide positive mental health benefits for individuals within our community and ideally fostering a life-long passion for nature and the environment.