London (change)
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20/02/2014 at 10:15

I was taking advantage of the early spring the other day to get a bit of shrub transplanting done, when I came across a mound of moss, leaves etc I left it alone in case it was a little house and went back to look yesterday and saw a little flower trying to appear out the side.  Thinking it might be a rare orchid  I gently lifted a few wee bits and pieces and established that it was in fact a crocus - slightly mis-shapen but a pretty little crocus nevertheless.  Then I wondered if the mound was just that, a mound of leaves, moss etc so without disturbing it I tried to have a good look and I am sure it is a hedgehog or animal nest and I am so touched that it is in my garden and impressed by the workmanship involved.  I am surprised though because I saw a hedgehog in January and remember thinking at the time that it should be hibernating.  Anyway just thought I'd share that with you.

20/02/2014 at 10:17

I think the mild weather has been confusing some of our hedgehogs - hopefully as it's been mild there's been some food around for them.

20/02/2014 at 15:27

Oh wow! I'd love to have hedgehogs in the garden. I brought my future mother in law a hedgehog box as she had them in the garden but I've no idea if they've nested in it.

There are certainly plenty of slugs around here to think that with the mild weather if the hogs are waking up now they wont go hungry!

20/02/2014 at 16:44

It is really lovely - I feel almost honoured but I didn't do anything special to attract them - they have been passing through the garden for a few years now and I didn't realise they could actually be living in it - although my OH had mentioned a mound a couple of years ago.  Yes hopefully there is a good supply of food for them.  I must have a look at hedgehog boxes then and maybe they'll know how welcome they are - although that depends on how many crocuses they have crushed .

20/02/2014 at 17:25

Probably not the hedgehog's fault - the crocus was below ground when he decided to built his hibernaculum just there 

20/02/2014 at 18:50

That's such a sweet story

I wish I could have a hedgehog in my garden, but they wouldn't be able to get in or out, sadly.

Post us a picture once it decides to emerge, if you catch it in time!

21/02/2014 at 08:38

Hibernaculum... That sounds wonderful Dove.  I love that word.  I'll try to take a picture of the hedgehog emerging from his hibernaculum Jess but why would a hedgehog not get in or out - do you have a walled garden?   If I miss him coming out I will upload a picture taken of him passing through the garden last year.  They move at some speed incidentally but when they are scared they stop in their tracks and bury their nose in the soil - that's how I managed to get a couple of great photos but I didn't intentionally frighten him.  

21/02/2014 at 08:43

One of the reasons for the decline in hedgehogs is the increase in solid panel fencing around gardens all over the country - hedgehogs need to roam over quite a large area to feed and also to meet up for 'socal activities

This site gives advice on how to make areas safe and habitable for hedgehogs - we've liaised with our neighbours and have little 'hedgehog gates' in the bottom of our fences so that hedgehogs can visit several gardens in the evenings. 

21/02/2014 at 08:55
We live in a pretty rural spot on the edge of woodland. And though we see lots of wildlife we have never seen a hedgehog - despite numerous strategic log piles for them to call home. Someone said that you don't get hedgehogs where there are badgers - does anyone know if that is true?
Jealous of your visitor Lavande - pictures would be lovely!
21/02/2014 at 09:27

Some people expound the theory that badgers eat hedgehogs and this is the reason they are in decline - there are some people with an axe to grind against badgers - as far as I'm aware there is no evidential proof that this is the cause of the hedgehog decline.  In fact if hedgehogs were a major food source for badgers once the hedgehog declined in an area so would the badgers, which doesn't seem to be the case. 

This is interesting 

21/02/2014 at 09:54

What a lovely find! I used to have hedgehogs about 20 years ago and would find their nests but they disappeared. But there are badgers in the woodland at the side of the drive and last year I found an elderly dead badger in the lean to behind the garage. I wonder if the badgers have got rid of the hedgehogs. I hadn't heard that before.

21/02/2014 at 10:13

I had hedgehogs all the time in the gardens of my previous three houses, which were in villages, but have never had any in my current garden, which is in the middle of farmland. We do have lot of badgers locally but I've always thought it is more likely to be the lack of cover around as it's all arable or grazing.

21/02/2014 at 10:46

If badgers eat a hedgehog they leave the empty spiny skin as evidence.

21/02/2014 at 10:50

Yes, we have a low wall on one side, then fence the other two, but with no visible gaps anywhere at all. Never seen  hedgehog in here and was going to try introducing one, but the person on the heath whom I asked said they had to be able to go from garden to garden (ours is too small and it wouldn't do the hedgehog any good to be stuck in it). Sigh!

21/02/2014 at 11:40

I should have typed before uploading sorry I can't get the text above them.  The last picture was taken about half an hour ago and I am hoping it is my hibernaculum - you can't really see the height or solidity of this from the photo but it is quite dense and you can see why I was out clearing the  garden - but I left this alone (I have loads of moss and weeds).  The first two are from 2012 I think - judging from the sequence of photos on my phone but he was also there last year.  One year I saw it wandering through with two little ones.  That was me - hooked!

Thank you so much for the links Dove - I'll make myself a cup of tea and have a good look at them.  I don't have a huge garden either Jess - and live in a smallish town - not out in the country.  My garden backs onto a noisy, busy main road but luckily there is a wall between us and the hedgehogs make their way through the hedges dividing the gardens. The other side of the estate is quite countryish I suppose in terms of landscaping there are lots of shrub and tree areas and the houses further in back onto the Seine so there is probably quite a lot of wildlife but I definitely don't think there are badgers around here. But he is so cute isn't he? I love his little nose.


21/02/2014 at 22:30

He's really cute, there's something so cuddly about hedgehogs, except for the prickles!

21/02/2014 at 22:36

We are clearing part of the garden. OH has strict instructions to go very carefully as there is lean to wood and lots of leaves (very deep layer) that would be an ideal place for them to go. However have never seen or heard one here. 

Thought of Dove while I was giving out take care instructions


Wishful thinking probably

22/02/2014 at 09:23

Gorgeous pictures Lavande - soooo sweet

22/02/2014 at 09:28

Hello, not been on for a while,  it have a look around sometimes.

Dove, never thought about fence panelling and hedgehogs, glad I don't have any now. I could feed an army of them  in my garden with the thousands of slugs we have. Would love to have just one, but would the cats bother it?

22/02/2014 at 09:32

Lavande - that is exactly like the hibernaculum we found being occupied in our garden a couple of years ago.  OH nearly trod on it and was mortified - we moved it to a safer and sheltered corner of the garden and placed it in a cardboard box on it's side - more so that we remembered where it was than for any other reason.  

Hefty Hedgehog is now a regular visitor to feeding stations and fresh water bowls in the garden during the summer, and frequently other hedgehogs visit as well, coming through the small hole we've made at the bottom of the fence 

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