Hedgehogs in the garden

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Hedgehogs in the garden

Post by tocyvi on Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:34 pm

I love seeing hedgehogs in the garden and I have created small hibernation areas in the small woodland areas to attract and keep these lovely creatures. I attach below an article which appears in the Guardian today which gives advice on hedgehog-friendly gardens. It is a lovely sight to see these creatures snuffling around in late autumn, trying to build up their energy for their long hibernation period and it is well worth the effort to encourage these prickly friends:
 
"Recently voted Britain's national species in a BBC Wildlife poll, the hedgehog is declining rapidly (a 2011 report suggested a decline of 25% in 10 years). There are numerous factors linked to its demise, including a loss of habitat in the countryside and use of pesticides. Many are killed by motorists each year, and others drown in ponds, burn in bonfires, are injured by strimmers or poisoned by slug pellets in our gardens.

Yet, with a little effort, our gardens can be real refuges for hedgehogs. As long as there are holes under fences for them to travel through, and ponds are made safe, bonfires are checked before lighting and long grass is checked before strimming, they have every chance of survival. A leaf pile, log pile or compost heap can make the perfect nest site or hibernaculum, and wildlife-friendly slug pellets (or, preferably, no slug pellets at all), can ensure hedgehogs aren't poisoned while they eat our slugs.

It's also worth keeping an eye out for small ones in the run-up to winter, especially if you see any outside during the day. Hedgehogs typically hibernate between October and March, and before entering hibernation they build up their fat stores so they have enough reserves to keep them going without food until spring. Sometimes they have difficulty putting on enough fat in time – there can be many reasons for this, including bad weather – but a few are born so late in the year that by the time they leave the nest there is no natural food available for them to eat.

If hedgehogs visit your garden regularly, now is the time to give them an extra helping hand. Providing supplementary food and water can dramatically increase their chances of surviving hibernation, especially if you feed them again in spring, when their fat reserves are low and they have little energy to find food.

Meaty dog or cat food is readily taken (apparently hedgehogs prefer chicken or turkey flavour), and don't forget a dish of water. Never give them bread and milk as this can make them ill."

 
Source: Guardian 18/09/13
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tocyvi

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Re: Hedgehogs in the garden

Post by Tradzoner on Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:52 pm

I love hedgehogs and we have a couple of families that live in the hedges. Always careful when driving at night and have often stopped to let one cross the road in the early hours of the morning.

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Re: Hedgehogs in the garden

Post by redburmese on Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:57 pm

Quite agree ,they need help ,i have never seen so many dead hedgehogs in the road as this year many of them babies [ive been here 7 years ],and i have heard the french will aim to hit them on the road , yes bread and milk is bad for them the milk upsets thier stomach and can kill them ,dog food is better than cat food as it has more protien ,i have 3 hedgehogs and they can move fast when they want to [shame they dont do this on the road !!!]Shocked Crying or Very sad
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