In 2016, we trialled a camera-trapping project to monitor mammal populations more closely. Volunteers viewed the resulting footage and revealed some great views of nocturnal wildlife that would otherwise go unnoticed -the trial was a success!
In 2017, we worked with the City of London Corporation Ecologists to conduct camera surveys and night-time monitoring sessions across the Heath with positive results. The camera survey method was rolled out across the Heath in 2018 in collaboration with ZSL's 'London Hogwatch' project.. These surveys in combination revealed that Hampstead Heath supports one of the highest populations of Hedgehogs in London! This is excellent news as the species is in decline across much of the UK. Knowing where these iconic animals like to live on the Heath can help us protect this important population.
As well as hedgehogs, the camera surveys have given us more information on the Heath’s other nocturnal residents, such as foxes and rabbits. They confirmed that we have Muntjac Deer on the Heath, and even captured an unexpected Badger! The full report on the 2018 surveys can be viewed here.
We will be continuing the hedgehog surveys in 2020, setting out more cameras and nest boxes and water stations at locations across the Heath.