Caught on camera: Badger of Hampstead Heath
Research into thriving hedgehogs records badger on Heath path
23 October, 2019 — By Richard Osley
Too quick to be in focus, the black and white animal is snapped on the Heath
ANIMAL researchers tracking wildlife on Hampstead Heath snapped a passing badger after setting up hidden cameras.
The Institute of Zoology set up the camera traps for three months last year, and their final report was circulated to members of the Hampstead Heath Consultative Committee this week.
There was only one trace of a badger – it was racing along too fast for its face to be in focus – suggesting it may have just been passing through rather than evidence of a sett on the Heath.
The New Journal reported in March that a badger was seen walking down Arkwright Road, Hampstead, by Conservative councillor Maria Higson.
The Institute’s London said in their Hogwatch report that there was good news for the prickly creatures, with results of the cameras – mainly set up to install nocturnal movements – showing hundreds of sightings.
London’s hedgehog population has been declining over the past 20 years but the report said the animals were doing well on the Heath.
“In terms of hedgehog conservation, an eventual goal would be to increase connectivity between the Heath and the surrounding green spaces to improve dispersal,” the report said, with experts believing this would help prevent inbreeding among the Heath’s population of hedgehogs.
A hedgehog seen in the photos
It added:“On a smaller scale, raising awareness of hedgehogs and encouraging visitors to the Heath to make their gardens hedgehog-friendly would be beneficial.”