EVERYONE is being urged to look out for their spiny friends as a survey hopes to find out whether they are being affected by climate change.

The People's Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) are running a public survey to help determine if the weather is affecting when hedgehogs emerge from hibernation and how this might be affecting their survival.

Analysis by PTES shows that hedgehog populations have plummeted by over a third in the last ten years.

BHPS chief executive Fay Vass said: “Hibernation behaviour is an energy saving strategy used to help hedgehogs survive when food is scarce. Mild winter weather can tempt hedgehogs to wake early from hibernation, impacting on their fat reserves and breeding times and may consequently affect the long-term survival of this species.”

To take part in the survey and record your sightings of hedgehogs as they start to emerge in spring after hibernation, register at www.hedgehogstreet.org.