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Hedgehog Hints-October 2013

hedgehog-2Help-Hedgehog populations have declined by 50 % the last 25 years and could be extinct by the year 2050! Please take 5 minutes to make a difference to a hedgehog’s life to read and implement my tips.

Educate – Erinanceous Europaeus (hedgehog). They live in woodland, pasture, hedgerows, parks and gardens and breed in spring and autumn producing 4-5 babies. They can live for up to ten years but normally only 4 years in the wild. The hedgehog is a UK priority species meaning conservation measures are being put in place.

Dangers – Hedgehogs are declining due to loss of habitat & hedgerows, less rough field edges where hedgehogs forage, loss of suitable urban areas and an increase in the use of pesticides which kill the invertebrate which hedgehogs eat. Foxes and badgers also kill hedgehogs.

Garden safety – All sport and garden netting should be off the ground, check before mowing, ponds need escape routes, please don’t use slug pellets or insecticides, use environmentally friendly products and allow access in  and out of gardens with 5”x5” hole.

Eat – Beetles,earthworms, caterpillars. Feed hedgehogs cat food, wet or dry and put out a heavy bowl with water in, not milk especially in these autumn months and also through the winter. Food needs to be in an area away from predators and kept dry such as an upturned washing up bowl with an access hole of 5×5 inches.

Home – Create a leaf pile, log pile, un-mown garden areas – somewhere a hedgehog can  make a warm nest and hide from predators.

Observe – See a hedgehog in day light hours or injured? It’s poorly – catch it, place it on a wrapped up hot water bottle on a towel in a box. Then contact the British Hedgehog Preservation Society for further advice.

Good neighbours – Hedgehogs and humans can easily live side by side as long as the humans are careful about what they put in their garden and where they put it. Never use slug pellets! It can be very rewarding to see a hedgehog in your garden and they need your help!

Saving lives – Please help save our British Hedgehogs. Recently I’ve had a hedgehog brought to me caught in garden netting, he has lost an eye and may lose a leg from where he was trapped and requires a lot of care. Please follow my guidelines above to help these wonderful creatures and make a difference. On behalf of all wildlife hedgehogs, Thank you for your time and effort in making a difference.

www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk for more information or contact Rachel Begley 07810 004 371 if you find a poorly hedgehog.