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Dovefromabove

Can I make a plea that when you're raking up those autumn leaves, you leave a pile in a quiet corner, rather than bag or bin all of them.  In our first autumn at this garden we rigorously raked and bagged the leaves from our big ash trees as they fell, in an effort to keep them off the lawn which in previous years had been allowed to suffocate under the thick blanket of leaves.  

Just as the winter was turning really cold we came upon a hedgehog who had scraped together the few leaves he could find to make his hibernation home in a garden which in other winters had always provided him with a thick cosy blanket of leaves.

Fortunately we were able to move the hedgehog to a sheltered corner and protect him with a thick insulating layer of hay from the pet shop, and he came through his hibernation safely.

In the following winters we've raked the leaves off the lawn and bagged some of them, but left plenty in piles in places where the hedgehogs can gather enough for their nests, and only when the hedgehogs have stopped visiting the garden every evening do we bag the remaining leaves up to rot down for leafmould.

Remember the hedgehogs! 

nutcutlet

No chance of me being too tidy Dove. Last year's leaves are still out there

I think this is a very good idea we need many protected areas for wildlife over winter and leaving them under trees etc can be very good.

I looked out in the garden the other day and down the lining in one of the pots was a frog sitting there so even this provided a sheltered spot for animals.

Also even if we do collect some of the leaves we can store them as it says in Gardeners' World and turn them into leaf mould.

Many thanks. I don't have a lawn so no worries there but I will leave little piles around the garden

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Stacey Docherty

I wish if I did this I would get hedgepigs but have only seen one since I lived here it hibernated in my lean too b4 we had the extension. But this year I will leave a pile for them 

GillyL

A little pile of twigs and small branches in a sheltered spot is also a good idea.

Fairygirl

I've stacked a nice  pile of logs and branches from the dead trees I had to remove in the garden and now have a little corner behind the shed which is being kept untidy for wildlife. I'll add more things like bee boxes as I go along too. The bees have been out in force today at the sedums and some hoverflies were quite happy to stay on the rocket while  I moved it from a trough into another pot! 

GillyL

Found a beautiful Dragonfly caught up in a large cobweb this afternoon,too late to save it,but at least the spider won,t go hungry.

Thanks for the tips about not raking up all the leaves.  We have a resident

hedgehog in our garden.  He's made his home between the garage wall and a

brick bbq we no longer use.  I won't let my OH pull it down because we have 

a dear little woodmouse living in it (must be a male because we only ever see

him)  but at least we know we're helping a couple of wild creatures to survive.

 

This is for you Dovefromabove,

I've just watched my resident hedgehog eating his nightly supper of tinned dog food -

he's so fat now I don't think he goes very far!  Then in the shadows I saw another

hedgehog watching him clean the dish!  I felt so sorry for it I put some more dog

food out for that one and watched as it too cleaned the dish!  Long live hedgehogs!!

nutcutlet

I haven't seen one for years

Tracey Oakley

Hoping my wildlife habitat will attract hedgehogs !

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Dovefromabove

Aw, thanks Flowersforbees!!!  That's lovely!!!  Our hedgies like a mixture of dried mealworms, chopped peanuts, sunflower hearts, banana chips and bought hedgehog biscuits.  We make sure there's always a shallow bowl of rainwater out for them and they always have a good drink too.  

Nut, I find it really hard to believe that out in the sticks where you are, wth all the other wildlife around, there are no hedgehogs -  how sad   I know you've got thrushes and grass snakes - I'd have thought they'd have similar needs.  Maybe your hedgehogs are just very shy .... 

nutcutlet

It's an oasis in an agricultural desert Dove. There were a few here when we arrived but nothing like I'd been used to.

The surrounding farmland is as far from wildlife friendly as it's possible to be.

Dovefromabove

Before we went to bed last night we watched Hefty Hedgehog on the terrace eating his supper and having a drink of water - he really is a huge hedgehog - no worries about him being big enough to get through hibernation 

Lyn

Here is mine, i have left a big chunk of the garden to go completely wild.