give a ‘hog a home

November 5, 2009 at 10:26 am 9 comments

hedgehog copyAt this time of year hedgehogs are starting to scout out hibernation spots and are often drawn to their nearest unlit bonfire.  If you’re making a bonfire to celebrate Guy Fawkes night or burning garden rubbish please look out for hiding hedgehogs before starting the fire.  The Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust reports that hedgehog numbers are in decline due to a loss of habitat, development pressures, possible loss of food sources due to intensive farming and the possible effects of slug pellets.  And hedgehogs have recently joined the red squirrel and bottlenose dolphin on the UK Biodiversity Action Plan list of species in need of conservation and greater protection.

Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust advises people to help protect hedgehogs by following these guidelines when building a bonfire:
• Build the bonfire as close to the night as possible so there’s less chance of a hedgehog moving in
• Make your pile of material next to the bonfire site and re-build the stack before lighting it
• Search the bonfire for hibernating creatures using a torch and rake before starting the fire
• Move any hedgehogs found to a ready-made hedgehog box or somewhere dry and safe away from the fire
• Before bonfire night make an alternative hedgehog home by raking up grass cuttings or autumn leaves into a pile a safe distance from the fire.  Hopefully sleepy ‘hogs will choose to snooze there instead of the bonfire.

Julie's hedgehogsI must admit I’d not given much thought to hedgehogs before coming across these lovely little knitted fellas made by Julie at Little Cotton Rabbits (click on the photo to go straight to the post they feature on).  Julie is a master knitter and has a pattern for these hedgehogs, come pin cushions, in her Etsy shop and I have it at the ready for when I go into hibernation from the garden.  Julie donates a portion of the profits from the sale of this pattern to the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and it got me thinking about who my local hedgehog charity might be.  If you’re in Gloucestershire too and wondered where spiky waifs and strays end up check out Oak and Furrows Wildlife Rescue Centre.  They have some really interesting articles about being hedgehog aware to create gardens for happy hedgehogs and why hedgehogs hibernate (so we don’t try to rescue every hedgehog  spotted out and about in winter uneccesarily).

Other useful ‘hoggy links

© Harry hedgehog photo taken by Tim, British Hedgehog Protection Society.

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Entry filed under: away from the plot. Tags: , , .

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9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Julie  |  November 5, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    what a great post about hedgies and thanks so much for the link and kind words. It would be such a shame for these gentle little creatures to become rare – they really are the gardeners friend!

    Reply
  • 2. miss m  |  November 5, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    Hedgehogs are sooo cute ! Autumnwatch did a nice bit on them. I’d love to have them over here. Britons, take care of your hedgehogs !

    Reply
  • 3. Kirsten  |  November 5, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    Little Miss Tiggy-Winkles! I’ve never seen an actual photo of a live one! so cute.

    Reply
  • 4. Nip it in the bud  |  November 6, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    I missed the Autumnwatch programme – thank goodness for BBC Iplayer, will go and track it down. I’ve rarely seen a live one either and when you do they curl up in a ball so you can’t see them!

    Reply
  • 5. Jasmin  |  November 8, 2009 at 11:26 am

    What a great talent Julie has! The last time I saw a hedgehog we were with you on our campervan holiday circa 2003! x

    Reply
    • 6. Nip it in the bud  |  November 8, 2009 at 4:29 pm

      I’ve not seen one since then either (although I seem to recall he did a really good job of hiding from us behind the bin). Is it really that long? We went to that campsite with Tom and Kim in the summer – it was a lovely site we should all do it again :o)

      Reply
  • 7. Cheryl  |  November 9, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    Oh my, those knitted hedgehogs are cute!! Wish we had hedgehogs in the gardens here in the US. I had an African one as a pet many years ago and it was a lovely little thing;)

    Reply
  • 8. Jenny  |  November 17, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    Australia doesn’t have hedgehogs either! I miss out on so much! I know New Zealand has a population of hedgehoggers though….they have bumble bees too! I loved your photo of the little guy at the top. He’s lovely!

    Reply
  • 9. Kerry Lucas craftykestrel  |  June 15, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    I love the picture of the hedgehog x

    Reply

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