lizbrownlee – poet

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Hedgehogs!

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For twenty one years we have not used any chemical fertiliser or pesticide, and this year we have a hedgehog! I am SO thrilled.

Now our garden is virtually free of slugs – our plants this year have thrived, even the things that are usually eaten before they reach a few inches of height!

The first thing we noticed were a few ‘poos’ we didn’t recognise on the lawn – our garden is surrounded by 6 foot high walls, so any poo on the lawn that isn’t our dog’s is intriguing to say the least.

Then one evening I could hear a very loud snuffling and snorting in one of the borders – something seemed to be enjoying itself a LOT, but I had no idea what.

We went out to investigate with a torch, and there, frozen in the beam, was a wonderful, prickly hedgehog.

Delighted, we left hedgehog food out, and a bowl of water. Hedgehogs cannot digest milk, but can eat high quality wet cat food, but we bought some special hedgehog food.

Hedgehogs are much faster than you’d think, they can run as fast as two meters per second, and can climb walls, so that explains how it got in.

Then, last week, we were sitting in the garden on the garden bench, watching the hedgehog, and our son was home. He came to see, and remarked that it looked much smaller than it had been. We were puzzled – until another one appeared!

We have a mum and at least two babies. The one in the photo is a baby. They are living in the compost heap under the apple tree, which is never touched, only added to.

Hedgehogs are endangered in Great Britain, for a variety of reasons.

Hedges, where they forage for their food, have been dug up.

Pesticides have been used.

Litter is left which traps them.

They get hurt by garden machines like lawnmowers, strimmers and other implements. Being burned in bonfires is particularly unpleasant – please check your bonfires, and avoid making one and leaving it for any length of time before lighting it.

Garden netting can trap them.

They drown in ponds – do make sure that there is a way to climb out or a ramp in your pond.

Cars run them over.

They are extremely endearing – let’s hope they improve in numbers soon!

3 Comments

  1. Great stuff, Liz. Love hedgehogs – I will try to make our garden more friendly to them.

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  2. Liz

    Wonderful! Are you sure they came over the wall? Six feet high is a lot especially for a baby. And another hazard is ponds – I only just rescued a hedgehog in time from my pond, after which my son and I built a ramp. They can swim but this one was on its last gasp.

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    • I will add ponds, thanks, Liz. Yes, there was no other way in. But the adult probably came in pregnant. They are living in the compost, so not coming in and out.

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