Slugs and hedgehogs

by Jane Moore

The plot is abuzz with wildlife, including ladybirds, lacewings, bumblebees and ground beetles.

slugs and hedgehogs on Jane Moore's plotThe plot is abuzz with wildlife, including ladybirds, lacewings, bumblebees and ground beetles. They're all marvellous for my crops; bees increase my yields by pollinating flowers, and ladybirds and lacewings eat a lot of aphids.

As well as these lovely, helpful insects I've also got a good smattering of the not-so-helpful varieties of wildlife, such as slugs, snails, chafer beetles and assorted aphids.

I've also spotted a few cabbage white butterflies hovering around my brassicas. It's hard to hate them though, as they cavort around with each other, fluttering charmingly above my rickety constructions of netting.

But until last week, I'd never seen anything bigger than a mouse on my plot. It lives in the compost heap and seems to love the warmth generated by decomposing matter.

Then I found a hedgehog. I don't know which of us was more surprised when I nearly ran it down with a wheelbarrow full of weeds. We both stopped dead (I'd spotted him beneath the barrow as I could barely see over the top) and he promptly rolled into a ball. Vic, my neighbouring plotter, grabbed some gloves to move him as he was right in the path, and I took a quick photo with my phone. We put him down by the shed and he scuttled off underneath it. I really hope he's living there as it would be lovely to see him. They eat a lot of slugs, so I'll look forward to a sharp decline in the slug population on the plot.

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Gardeners' World Web User 01/01/2008 at 00:00

Gardeners' World Web User 11/08/2008 at 18:08

Hi You are so lucky to have an hedgehog in your garden, mine is overrun with slugs and I am hoping somebody would give me an hedgehog.Please anybody has one to give away?

Gardeners' World Web User 12/08/2008 at 08:48

Lucky you having a hedgehog on your allotment . My neighbour saw a couple of these lovely creatures in our front garden one night , and as I feed he birds in the morning , perhaps there is still some food left for them . I hope so as I do not like to put food out at night as I do not want to encourage rats!!I expect with all the rain we have had this month there will be plenty of slugs for them in my garden.

Gardeners' World Web User 12/08/2008 at 15:23

encourage hedgehogs by always leaving a supply of fresh water and a small amount white meat based pet food or cat biscuits (never anything fish based). also dried grass/leaves etc for nesting material, even a rough hibernation box against a sheltered spot or under shed/compost heap. check out for more info.

Gardeners' World Web User 12/08/2008 at 21:39

I think it's great that you have left the hedgehog on your allotment. we have a small pond in our garden which has about 2 dozen frogs that are great for keeping the slugs down.can you give me any advice on what i can make at home that will kill or stop aphids

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