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Mark56

Over the years, I've spent some time working at a hedgehog rescue & rehabilitation centre. As we all know, hedgehogs are a gardener's best friend and there is estimated to be under 1 million left in the UK. Please sign this petition for a law protecting our prickly friends - https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/121264

Anyway, I thought it would be good to highlight a few things we can do to help.

- Make 5" round holes in your fences to allow hedgehogs to travel between gardens for food. One garden is not enough they can travel up to a mile a night. Talk to your neighbours and see if you can create a network. 

- Provide a shallow bowl of water and cat/dog meat flavoured dry biscuits, preferably in a feeding station (easy to create & stops cats/foxes) seen here: 

http://thehedgehog.co.uk/feeding-hedgehogs/how-to-stop-cats-dogs-and-foxes-stealing-the-hedgehogs-food/

- Leave areas of leaves, sticks & dead foliage in piles behind hedges or trees as shelter and homes. Alternatively, buy one from a garden centre or the internet.

- Placing piles of logs to rot and attract beetles (a great hedgehog food source). 

I'm happy to answer any questions, these form a basic start to helping. Thanks! 

madpenguin

Have signed the petition.

I have hedgehogs in my garden and help with a feeding station and hog house (all used regularly).

Also doing all that I can to encourage other people to help if they can.

My best birthday present 3 years ago was a day at Tiggywinkles on a hedgehog handling course.Brillant day!

 

done and will ask all my friends and family to do so

Mark56 , just had a quick look at site and saved it for later

We do get hedgehogs in garden , don't often see them as they come around at night , do occasionally put meelly worms under a bench which seems to be there root into garden , always nice to seem them when sitting out in the evening in summer , you seem to hear them shuffling round by the hawthorn hedge 

I known they have been round sometimes because next door showed me what there poo looked like 

Does a mild winter cause them problems ?

 

Mark56 just signed partition 

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Mark56

Wonderful thanks guys, your help is really appreciated! 

Mark56

 

 

GWRS wrote (see)

Mark56 , just had a quick look at site and saved it for later

We do get hedgehogs in garden , don't often see them as they come around at night , do occasionally put meelly worms under a bench which seems to be there root into garden , always nice to seem them when sitting out in the evening in summer , you seem to hear them shuffling round by the hawthorn hedge 

I known they have been round sometimes because next door showed me what there poo looked like 

Does a mild winter cause them problems ?

 

Sounds great! They are such a joy to watch (and listen to). A mild winter usually isn't too problematic but it does mean they have extra litters towards the end of autumn who are unlikely to survive if the weather does change (they need to be 500-600g for hibernation otherwise taken to overwinter at a rescue centre). A mild winter usually means prolonged food source and sometimes they won't even need to hibernate, which is a perk. Mealworms are perfect as a treat just not too many as they are high in fat 

madpenguin

I signed and got a 'Government response' to the petition.

Part of it said this:-

Hedgehogs are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 from being killed using prohibited methods such as a crossbows, traps and snares. However, further protection of hedgehogs by adding them to Schedule 5 will not support the species and may have unintended consequences because:

1. the legislation makes it an offence to intentionally kill, take and injure and we have no evidence that this is currently an issue; 
2. protecting such a generalist habitat from destruction or disturbance could have the unintended consequence of making it a criminal offence to tend gardens; and 
3. it may deter the maintenance and creation of habitat for hedgehogs if there will be a restriction on land use as a result.

 

I had never really thought about the 'unintented consequences' of adding hedgehogs to Schedule 5 .

It could end up meaning that if you had them in your garden you would not be able to actually do any gardening.

Sometimes things are not always as simple as they seem 

Mark56

I got this email response from the government too, which is a valid point but it does say if it reaches 100,000 another further discussion will be held (probably leading to more measures of help).

i will carry on putting the odd hand full of mealworms down for them 

madpenguin i got that respinse too, we've never had one in our garden, but extra measures to help them ( our garden is quite friendly but no pond ( 2 small children) have had a frog though!

Mark56

You could do a shallow dish of water too for the drier periods, birds will love it also. 

Tootles

Hi - sadly we had a very nasty incident this morning.  Our garden adjoins open countryside and we have open fencing just acting as a boundary marker. Sadly a dog walker didn't have their dog on a lead this morning and it ran into our garden, mauled and killed my neighbours cat. It was horrific. Everyone is very upset, especially the children. 

As a result we've decided to put chicken wire up along our boundary. Trouble is, we get lots of hedgehogs and we'd hate to block their access. 

We will cut out holes in the chicken wire. The total length is just over 100m. At what intervals do you think we should cut the holes please? Would every 10m be enough? Thanks

Lou12

That's just awful Tootles, it must have been devastating.

 

Tootles , not nice 

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Tootles

It was Lou12. He was such a gentle little thing. It's just so very sad.  A lesson for dog walkers to keep dogs on a lead if they can't control or trust them enough not to cause damage. It could have been a child. Doesn't bare thinking about. The lady was very upset.... not as upset as my neighbours children I guess. 

Mark56

Tootles - So sorry to hear that, some owners are not responsible enough. We're getting a terrier at the end of the month and won't be letting him off the lead (they can't be trusted with their instincts). Anyway, every 10-20m would be perfect! Just make sure the chicken wire itself hasn't got too small of holes (hogs have been known to catch their back legs in it and break them). Also you could put black tape around the 5"+ holes so it isn't sharp  Well done for thinking of the hedgies! 

Tootles

Thanks Mark56. We'll do just that. We've bought some rubber tubing to line the holes so that there will be no nasty sharp edges. 

ReedyS

Thank you so much for the link to the hedgehog page - I've been seeing hedgehogs every now and then where I live and I'm going to build a hedgehog house and feeding station now as I bought food but I'm certain the cats/foxes are gobbling it up before the hedgehog gets a look in!  Thanks. 

Mark56

Great work guys, they should be appearing between now and early April. Breeding starts in late May.