Hedgehog Heroes in The Regent's Park

This year we joined over 100 volunteers on the annual hedgehog survey in The Regent's Park, aiming to find out all about this elusive nocturnal animal and helping to monitor and safeguard the vulnerable population, one of the last in central London.

Hedgehog openings

In collaboration with experts at The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the Royal Parks, habi-sabi designed and deployed bespoke hedgehog 'openings' in the iron railings around the perimeter of London Zoo in Regent's Park. These openings allow hedgehogs free passage through the railings but stop longer bodied predators, like dogs and foxes, from following them. An early prototype can be seen in use on the webcam still below - look carefully and you can see a hog scurrying away to the left of the opening.

Adaptable wildlife support

Alongside our work with hedgehogs, we are creating a series of installations around the zoo for the other uncaged local wildlife, including swifts and bats, each relating to a specific species' need. Our designs employ only three joints: a tooth, a peg and a lock; this simple strategy, when combined with rapid digital fabrication, allows us to quickly develop custom products for a wide range of wildlife and situations.

Day and night

ZSL has a burgeoning resident swift and bat population that feeds on insects along the northern edge of the zoo by the canal. Several of our new habi-sabi day and night boxes with a swift call tweeter were fitted last week to the Nuffield Building nearby. Completed in 1965 by Llewelyn-Davies, the building is an example of Brutalist architecture on the Outer Circle of The Regent's Park. The height and deep overhang of the roof provides the perfect sheltered location for a home for swifts and bats to nest and roost.

Peter Thomas
Peter Thomas