Hedgehogs and milestones

Training ride 22 – distance: 12.3 miles

Training ride 23 – distance: 7.5 miles

Training ride 24 – distance: 9.5 miles

Total training miles: 324.5

Days left to challenge: 314

Well it took until my 23rd ride but I have finally passed the 300 mile mark in my training. 23 rides and over five weeks since I signed up to ride from London to Paris next September to cover the distance that we will do in just four days next year. The challenge ahead is certainly very clear in my mind and in just two weeks the time to go countdown will dip under the 300 days mark!

As I’ve spent hours pedalling up and down Suffolk’s leafy country lanes over the last few weeks, without in any way wishing to be morbid, one thing that I’ve noticed is the number of nature’s casualties that can be seen on and beside our roads. Birds, muntjac deer, pheasants, badgers, rabbits and of course hedgehogs are common sights, but the latter is less common than once it was and it is for that reason that the Suffolk Wildlife Trust are running a campaign to track hedgehog sightings throughout the county. Hedgehog numbers have dropped alarmingly in the last ten years and it is feared up to a third of the UK’s population has been lost.

Sightings (of live animals or casualties) can be reported on their website but recently they have appealed for help in a different  way and are also asking for negative sightings. As important as knowing where hedgehogs are to be found they are equally keen to establish a picture of where hedgehogs have not been seen. The aim of the survey is help the trust to target on-the-ground conservation action where it will have the greatest impact.

So as I clock up the miles I am making a note of any sightings I see. I fear that many may be reports of ones that have failed to safely negotiate our roads but I hope in doing so it will mean there is a greater chance of more live encounters in the future.

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