What the hedgehog?! Only 47% of Brits have seen one in the wild!

Samsung nocturnal animals
(Image credit: Taylor Herring)

A new study shows that beavers, pine martens and nightjars are among the UK’s most elusive animals. Millions of Brits have never even seen a hedgehog in the wild and many had no idea that deer could be found in urban areas so Samsung is on a mission to change that. 

Technology giants Samsung UK have teamed up with wildlife photographers Kyle Moore and Ian Wood to document a series of the UK’s nocturnal wildlife using the Samsung Galaxy S22’s night mode function. The new study was commissioned by Samsung and it reveals the top 20 seldom seen, UK native animals which include some common creatures such as badgers and bats. 

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TV Presenter Angelica Bell was brought on board to create a video guide to help budding wildlife photographers take more photos in their local area. It goes through what the best settings are for night photography, how to get the right angles and where to look for these nocturnal animals.

According to a study that surveyed 2000 Brits, the most elusive animal in the UK is a nightjar with only 7% of Brits have seen one in its natural habitat. This nocturnal, medium-sized bird is characterized by long wings, short legs and a very short bill and can be found in the South of England. 

Only 11% of Brits have ever seen a pine marten or pygmy shrew, just 13% have seen a hazel dormouse and a beaver while a mere 15% have seen a golden eagle. Other animals included in the list are well-known animals but have often only been observed at wildlife sanctuaries or zoos including the otter (15%), puffin (17%), kingfisher (28%) and grass snake (29%).

Whether you live in the countryside or in the city, you might be surprised by how much wildlife is right on your doorstep. Wildlife populations across the UK are growing and in London alone there are more than 15,000 species of birds, insects and mammals and yet 47% of adults in the UK have never even seen a hedgehog.

Samsung nocturnal animals

(Image credit: Taylor Herring)

Dr. Bryony Tolhurt, a lecturer in ecology at the University of Brighton says, “It’s no surprise that the Nightjar and Pine Marten are named as the UK’s most elusive animals as they only live in certain places and are secretive and hard to spot. Despite popular belief, UK towns and cities aren’t devoid of wildlife at all and in fact are home to a wide array of mammals, birds, and insects. Some of the animals on the list are nocturnal and live on our doorsteps, so some of the best opportunities to see the animals is when the sun starts going down.” 

One of the main reasons people don’t capture these creatures more often is because 62% believe that they don't have the right equipment to photograph these animals and 59% wich they had access to better cameras for this exact reason. However, as Kyle and Ian have proved, you don’t need super expensive camera equipment to start capturing wildlife by night - just explore your local area, scope out those animal hot spots and practice a little patience. You’ll be snapping nocturnal wildlife in no time. 

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.