A survey has revealed the continued decline in sightings of some of our most familiar and favourite garden wildlife.
Now the RSPB is calling on people across County Durham to take up the Wild Challenge this summer to uncover the mysterious creatures living in their garden.
More than 3,500 people across Teesside and County Durham took part in the survey and results showed that hedgehogs were seen in three quarters of gardens or outdoor spaces.
Both moles and their more familiar molehills went unseen in around a third of outdoor spaces.
Great crested newts were even more elusive, going unseen to the majority of people throughout the county, as the secretive reptile was not spotted in almost 70 per cent of gardens.
For the second year running participants were asked to keep an eye out for foxes and stoats.
The results showed that foxes were a less common garden visitor in County Durham than other parts of the country, with only 36 per cent of gardens seeing one throughout the year, compared to 70 per cent nationally.
Hedgehogs were the most common forms of wildlife seen locally,
With the wildlife on people’s doorsteps becoming increasingly mysterious to them, the RSPB is calling on families in Hartlepool and East Durham to spend more time outside this summer and reconnect with the nature that surrounds them by taking on the Wild Challenge.
To learn more about this summer’s RSPB Wild Challenge, and to see how people can take their firsts steps on their own wildlife adventure, visit rspb.org.uk/wildchallenge