Your Local Hedgehogs Need You

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Your Local Hedgehogs Need You

Steve's Bees
Published by Steve Jacklin in Wildlife · Thursday 08 Jun 2023
Tags: localhedgehogsconservationwildlifeenvironmentactivismcommunitysupport
Last night as I was locking up to go to bed, I noticed the security light on the garage had come on. We've been having problems with a pair Foxes after the Chickens. So, I called the dog and went out to investigate. The dog came out all bark and bluster as she normally does. If it was the Foxes again, then they chase round the garden for 2 mins before the Foxes escape over the back fence and we don't see them again for a couple of weeks. This time she ran past me heckles up, but was suddenly doing a back pedal. The Spiky Monster was back. She's scared of the Spiky Monster.
Spicky Monster
I don't know why she fears of them. The only thing I can think of was a couple of years ago when she was a pup, we were in the garden late at night and I managed to fall over a Hedgehog in the dark. It was ok but I hurt my ankle, and I wonder today if the dog thinks that if the Spiky Monster can hurt me and get me on the ground it must be dangerous. So tonight, I'm not sure who was the most scared the Dog or the Hedgehog.
Its going to get meSniffing the beast
I love seeing Hedgehogs in the Garden and I often see them walk past my office door on an evening and they nest under the shed where I keep a lot of my Bee Equipment.
One winter 16 years ago now we were cleaning up the garden and I moved a pile of leaves and debris to find a Hedgehog hibernating. We quickly put all the debris back and decided to leave it until spring. We then frequently saw her, as it turns out, in the Garden. Then one day we came home and found she'd be killed on the Road outside. Later, that day we were in the Garden, and we could hear load high pitched squeaks coming from the long border. Then suddenly a baby hedgehog dropped out of the vegetation.

We could still hear the squeaks in the border so after a bit of a search through the undergrowth we found another two. One of them still in the nest we'd found over winter. We can only surmise that it was their mother that had been killed by a passing car and they were now hungry and desperate.

We quickly gathered them up and put them in a box. I then did a bit of research and found a lady in Hartlepool who took in orphan Hedgehogs. When we dropped them off the lady asked if we wanted them back when they were big enough and of course I said yes.
A few weeks later I had a call from the lady saying they were big enough to release so I took my young son, and we went and picked them up. The lady advised us to set up a feeding station for them in the garden and put some cat food in for them. Never feed them milk as it upsets their tummies.

The feeding station was just some bricks with an old seed tray on top to keep the weather and the cats out. They were frequent visitors over the summer but then disappeared in the Autumn as they went into hibernation. I like to think that the Hedgehogs I see in the Garden today are the descendants of those three we rescued.
This got me thinking on how we can keep our Hedgehogs safe. Thousands are killed on the roads every year. We need to restrict them from getting onto the roads in the first place. So, I've been round the boundary to my property and where it is adjoining a road or someone's front garden, I've made sure there are no holes for hedgehogs to crawl through and that there is only a narrow gap under the gate so they can't get under.

Now I'm not saying we should lock the hedgehogs into our Gardens to keep them safe, they need to be able to roam but safely. Where my boundary borders someone's back garden I've put holes into the fences so the hedgehogs can get through and explore other back gardens. I've looked on overhead imagery of the back gardens adjoining mine and if everyone did the same as I've done it would create vast safe backyard havens for Hedgehogs.
So, remember to keep Hedgehogs safe.
  • No Gaps to keep them off the roads.
  • Gaps to allow access to other gardens to roam.

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