Monday, 25 April 2016
The speaker for the evening of 10th march was Joan Lockley of the Hedgehog rescue. She gave us lots of interesting information on how to encourage and protect hedgehogs. Here are some useful tips:
Dangers / extinction
Hedgehogs have been around for 20 million years! They are becoming extinct. There are below one million hedgehogs left now. The reasons for the decline are garden strimmers; cars; badgers; compost heaps and garden forks, bonfires, netting- they get trapped, cattle grids - some have ladders in them for hedgehogs now; concrete drains- they wear their feet down trying to get out; slug pellets; insect sprays; garden pools- they can swim but get exhausted unless people have built a shallow exit route for the hedgehogs ( build up some stones at one end); sheds- they go in and get locked in without food; slug pellets; anti freeze (they like the sweet taste, but it is a poison) and also sprays put on roses (which they lick off their fur when cleaning themselves). In addition there is habitat loss due to the decline of hedgerows. 100,000 miles of hedgerows have been lost. Contact the rescue centre if you see a hedgehog out by day ( they are nocturnal) or if you suspect a hedgehog is sick.
Attracting hedgehogs to your garden
Some things can be done to encourage hedgehogs such as leaving a patch of long grass or a rough area, leave a hole in a fence, feed them mealworms and cat biscuits as well as a tin a night of the cheapest cat food (they take in and excrete a tins worth per night! ) level water for them to drink, have a feed station and remove dangers - see above.
A hedgehog safe space may be created by putting two parallel rows of 6-8 bricks and covering these with a slab. This creates a small tunnel (it should be five and a half inches wide) Leave the feeding dish at the end. Hedgehog rescue telephone 01922 419532 or 07837 409533 website www.wmhr.org.uk