A couple of weeks ago I posted about a hedgehog feeding station that I’d set up, with a promise to update you as to whether we got any visitors. Well, the good news is yes – the food has proved very popular. The bad news is, the evidence does not suggest hedgehogs…
The droppings and long slithery lines in the sand suggest an altogether mousier clientele I think.
I’ll persevere, and hopefully a hedgehog will find it before they settle down for the winter hibernation season. I’ll keep you posted.
Baby hedgehog rescue
In the meantime, Saskia and I met a wonderful local woman, Audrey, who volunteers as a hedgehog rehabilitator. She is trained to look after orphaned, young hedgehogs that have been rescued by members of the public. She gives them food, shelter and warmth in her home, then in her garden, then when they’re strong enough, they’re free to wander off into the wild- which they all do eventually.
Left -This is Ethel, who came with her 3 siblings, rescued from a building site by some wildlife-savvy builders. – about 6 weeks old now, weighing 300g; Right – Meet Gerry (short for Geraldine), feeling a bit scared of us at first and curling up up a protective ball. She weighs 475g now.
With hedgehogs now vulnerable to extinction in the UK, it is vital that we all protect the ones we have left. The next few months are especially important, as many autumn-born baby hedgehogs are left to fend for themselves when their mothers go into hibernation, but are still too small to survive.
What can we do to help hedgehogs?
If you find a very small, or injured/unwell hedgehog, call the British Hedgehog Preservation Society on 01584 890 801, who will try to connect you with a local hedgehog protection group.
Look after baby hedgehogs (or any injured or unwell hedgehogs) until they can be rehomed, as they will be very vulnerable if left alone in the wild. Keep them warm, fed (with cat/dog food) and watered. This page on the British Hedgehog Preservation Society website has good practical advice about exactly what to do.
Bonfire Night is coming up!
Check bonfires before you light them in case a hedgehog is nestled inside.