I started with a wander around all the stalls saying hi to a few familiar faces. It was lovely to finally meet Marion from Spikes World face to face!
The day kicked off with a lovely welcome from Fay Vass and a brief overview of why the event had been organised.
The keynote speaker was the ever engaging Dr Pat Morris MBE talking about his life with hedgehogs.
Henry Johnson (Hedgehog Officer for the PTES) outlines the challenges facing the UK’s hedgehogs and conservation goals for the next 10 years.
Dr Philip Baker explains what work is being done in and around Reading to monitor urban hedgehogs.
Hedgehog champion Becky Walton explains how she has set up one of the largest and most successful #HedgehogStreet communities.
Ben Williams outlines his work looking at the effects of road fragmentation on hedgehogs.
Dr Richard Yarnell provided an overview of his work monitoring the hedgehog population on the Nottingham Trent University campus.
Dr Nigel Reeve gave an insight into the work being done to conserve the hedgehogs of The Regent’s Park in London.
Carly Pettett explains some of the findings from her study of managing arable farmland for hedgehogs.
Dr Simone Bullion outlines the fab work being done in my home patch Suffolk to study, monitor and conserve hedgehogs across the county.
Simon Thompson gives us an overview of the Solihull HIA (Hedgehog Improvement Area) – the first hedgehog conservation zone in the world.
Question Time! The panel of today’s experts and speakers assemble to answer questions from the audience. The session was chaired by Hugh Warwick who done a fantastic job throughout the day hosting and ensuring everything run on time!
The day ended with a few closing words and a goodbye from the CEO of the PTES Jill Nelson.
#HOGCON15 had been a resounding success from what I could see. Well organised, friendly and informative.
I couldn’t resist making at least one purchase during the day – I’ve been meaning to pick up a copy of one of Hugh Warwick’s books for a while and today was the perfect opportunity. A Prickly Affair sounds like a great book full of Hugh’s wit and charm. I look forward to reading it.
So what about the future?
There is no doubt that Britain’s hedgehogs are in trouble but days like this make me feel hugely optimistic about their future. There’s a tremendous amount of work being done across the country that we can all be proud of. Whether you are a large organisation, a community group, a hedgehog rehabilitator, or just love watching the hedgehogs in your garden, we all have a part to play.
There’s still a LONG way to go but if we put aside any politics or differences of opinion within the community and pull together I have no doubt we will continue to see hedgehogs scurrying around the British countryside for decades to come.
I for one will be doing all I can to help.