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Hedgehogs are considered the gardeners friend, but we may not be that friendly towards them as our gardens can contain many hidden dangers. Here are some ways that we can reduce these hazards.

Slug Pellets

Many slug pellets contain Metaldehyde (commonly the blue ones but check the ingredients on all slug pellets) and will not only kill the slugs but can also kill the hedgehogs (and birds) if they eat one of these victim slugs. Try alternative natural slug deterrents such as Slug Gone and Copper Slug and Snail Tape that are safe to all wildlife.

Recycled containers

We are all being encouraged to recycle but empty food cans, yoghurt pots, plastic cups etc. are a real danger to inquisitive hedgehogs and small animals which can get stuck in them head first and die of starvation or suffocate, to prevent this squash all cans, and cut up containers before putting them into the bin. Wildlife can also get caught in the plastic rings that hold the cans together and the different sizes of holes in them can trap different types of animals, each circle should be cut up before putting them in the bin. These have been banned in America we hope that our government will ban them too.

Water Features/Ponds

These attract wildlife to our garden but if there is no escape route anything that falls in will be unable to climb out and drown. Hang some plastic coated wire over the side and into the water to make a ladder, half submerge some rocks around the edges or make a gentle slope on at least one side of your pond. Keep ponds topped up, especially in hot weather so that hedgehogs are less likely to topple in. Children’s paddling pools and sand pits are also a danger when filled with rainwater.

Netting

Keep all pea-netting a foot above the ground so the hedgehogs can go under it and will not try to go through it and become stuck.  The same applies to tennis nets, children’s football nets etc.

Bonfires/Compost Bins

Before burning accumulated rubbish in the garden or before emptying or turning your compost bins check that a hedgehog has not made a home in it, the best time to spread the heap is October/November.

Strimming

Take care when mowing long grass with mowers or especially strimmers, when cutting long overgrown areas cut initially to about a foot high and then check for hedgehogs and other wildlife before cutting any lower. 

Provide a safe home for our friends

We should all leave an area of our garden to go wild for nature, and this would be an ideal place to put a hedgehog house these provide a safe haven for hibernating hedgehogs and also for females to have their young. Ideally place the house somewhere quiet against a bank, fence or wall and out of prevailing wind. We have the perfect Hedgehog home at The Recycleworks the Hogitat it is an attractive natural home and safe retreat for hedgehogs which will comfortably nestle into any garden.

  • It features a sturdy, rust-proofed steel frame
  • A waterproofed roof with an attractive natural finish
  • A predator defence tunnel
  • Lots of room for a family of hoglets and the mother

 So let’s do all we can to help our adorable prickly friends.

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Our latest competition winner Ryan Cinato wrote about wanting a hedgehog to come into his garden and it got me thinking about how special and unique these little creatures are. Hedgehogs are a gardener’s friend and a welcome visitor in any garden.

Everyone knows what a hedgehog looks like but did you know that there are approximately 5,000/7,000 spines on an average adult hedgehog each one is 25mm(1”) long, they are really modified hairs and are absent from the face, throat, chest, belly and legs where they are covered with coarse, grey-brown fur. Something that I did not know is that hedgehogs have a small tail.

Hedgehog Food

If you want to help hedgehogs and encourage them to your garden why not start by putting out some Hedgehog Food for them. At this time of year, end March beginning of April, hedgehogs should be emerging from their winter hibernation and will be very hungry. A hedgehogs natural diet consists of earthworms, slugs, beetles caterpillars, snails etc. these become harder to find in cold or dry weather but to supplement their diet during these difficult times and when they need it most (after hibernation, when they have young and prior to hibernation) we can help them by putting out food do not put out milk and bread as the hedgehog cannot digest the bread and cows milk gives them very bad diarrhoea, many hedgehogs die because of this wrong diet.

At The Recycleworks we love hedgehogs and have some ready mixed Hedgehog Food, it is similar to a hedgehog’s natural diet and following trials with the British Hedgehog Preservation Society our improved recipe includes chopped peanuts, sunflower hearts, dried mealworms, sultanas and dried blackberries. As the food contains dried ingredients, be sure to put out a bowl of fresh water as well. Any food should be placed somewhere where dogs and cats cannot get at it, especially if it contains raisins and sultanas as if eaten even in small quantities these dried fruits can cause cats and dogs serious kidney problems.

Hedgehog snack feeding bowl

Food should be put out in the evening and ideally in a hedgehog feeding station so that only the hedgehog can get to it, the easiest way to make one of these is to place a paving slab on some bricks, leaving a gap as an entrance hole and put the Feeding Bowl in the middle underneath the paving slab with the Water Bowl outside.

For your little or big Hedgehog enthusiast why not treat them to a Hedgehog Field Guide this four page guide includes lots of facts and information on feeding and encouraging hedgehogs to your garden.

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Christmas is a time when we often spend more on food, and as family budgets get a little stretched it’s even more important to get the most out of our food. 

For peelings and left-overs that can’t be reused take a look at the Bokashi Bucket system

Every time you have scraps to throw, be it meat fish or vegetable, just open the lid and drop them in the Bokashi Bucket along with a ‘sprinkling’ of the Bokashi Bran and re-seal the lid.

When the bucket is full, leave for two weeks with the lid sealed and then either dig the resultant Bokashi into the garden or add to your compost heap. As the Bokashi is ‘composting’ in the Bokashi bucket, a nutient rich liquor is produced which is collected by using the tap on the bucket every couple of days. Dilute the liquor with water at 1:100 and use as plant feed throughout the home and garden.

To make the most of food that can still be eaten take a look at Love Food Hate Waste.  They shares top tips to help you cut food waste, save some money, and make the cook’s life a little easier.

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We love these kids Minibug houses, and they are are a great way to introduce children to the facinating world of wildlife.

Perfectly designed for children to use, the bug habitats have also been carefully constructed to provide perfect insect habitats too.

The MiniBug Ladybird Log is a natural habitat for ladybirds and other beneficial insects.  Constructed from solid FSC birch logs and oak, larch, or similar timber for durability, the Ladybird Log has a hollow central chamber that can be filled with natural material to provide insulation and security for the ladybirds inside. 

Intersecting the chamber are many holes drilled into the log at an upward angle, which allow the insects to reach the insulated and safe inner chamber. Ladybird Food/Attractant can be used with the tower if necessary and/or the tower may be used to release larvae with food source.

 

This Minibugs Bug Box  provides over-wintering habitats for insects such as solitary bees (non-aggressive garden pollinators).

Offering a variety of potential habitats, the top section is made of variable sized canes and the lower of bored solid timber.

 

 

The MiniBug Solitary Bee House is a natural habitat for non-swarming solitary bees.

Based upon the best selling solitary beehive and made from naturally durable FSC Cedar, this unique solitary bee house is specifically designed to attract non-swarming bees, which are gregarious and safe around children and pets.

 The bees are naturally attracted to holes in wood and the MiniBug Solitary Beehive provides habitat that has become harder to find in modern gardens

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Well we don’t have any snow outside yet so why not Build Your Own Snowman with this fun game.  It is great for children from 4 years upwards. 

Simply create your own personalised snowman, give him a name and print your picture out to keep!

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We think this new Recycling Activity Centre is perfect for schools and nursery settings. 

Designed to encourage young children to be responsible for recycling themselves, the unit can be made an integral part of the nursery/classroom.

Each child can be encouraged to take responsibility for classroom recycling.  

Along the way they will learn about how rubbish and refuse can be recycled and made into useful everyday products. 

For all the details of how to order click here.

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If you sowed a crop of turnips during the summer, you may be looking forward to harvesting them over the next few weeks.  So we thought you may enjoy our recipe for creamy turnip soup.  Nutritious, delicious and just perfect for a cold autumn day. 

Ingredients

butter
2 large turnips, peeled and chopped
1 large onion peeled and chopped
1 large potato, peeled and chopped
1 litre of warm vegetable stock                                                                                                                                                                                       1 bay leaf
Freshly grate nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste
200 mls of single cream

Method

In a large casserole, melt the butter over a medium heat.

Add chopped turnips, onion and potato.

Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, until onion is tender and translucent but not golden.

Add the vegetable stock, bay leaf and seasoning.

Simmer gently for 20 to 30 minutes, until vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally.

Remove from the heat, remove the bay leaf and puree the soup mixture with a blender.

Stir in the cream and simmer gently for a few minutes, until warmed through. Do not boil.

Remove from the heat, serve and enjoy!

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Meet our delightful family of Wurzels Napus and Cascara Wurzel and their two children Compo Wurzel and Tumshie Wurzel.  They will entertain your family and share their great sense of fun with you for years.

All these fun scarecrows come dressed in their own pair of brand new jeans, T shirt and cravat and can be positioned right away.

Their arms are articulated and bend allowing you to  change their posture and their clothes, They will sit down or stand at home, in a garden or field.

Scarecrows are a fabulously imaginative present for Christmas, Halloween, Guy Fawkes Night or Birthdays and Anniversaries They are unique.

Dress your Scarecrow as a Member of your team, your school or a favoured character. The possibilities are endless. Every scarecrow will differ slightly owing to the nature of being hand-made, and using different facial features and clothes. Distinguishing features will be individual and therefore differ slightly with each member of the Wurzel family but there will remain a family likeness. Re-use any packaging to stuff the clothes.

This wonderful family of handmade articulated Scarecrows will quickly become part of your own family. They assume a sort of life of their own and watch out, they can suddenly put their arms round you, quite unexpectedly!

Napus and Cascara extended stand about 2m high, including the removable standing post which needs to go 40cm in the ground.  Teenagers, Neep and Tumshie Wurzel are 1.75cm tall inclusive of post as above.  For all the details of how to buy your very own to keep click here.

 

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Sweetcorn is at its seasonal best at the moment, so why not try these delicious Thai Sweetcorn Fritters.  They are easy to make and hugely popular with the whole family.

Ingredients

  • 50g plain flour
  • 3 sweetcorn cobs
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 chilli, finely sliced
  • ½ inch fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 small eggs
  • 100ml milk

 Method

  1. Make the batter by mixing together the flour, salt, chilli, ginger and eggs
  2. Boil or steam the sweetcorn on the cob for around 5 minutes. 
  3. Allow to cool well then remove the corn from the cob with a knife.
  4. Mix the sweetcorn with the batter.
  5. Heat the oil in a wok.
  6. Put heaped tablespoons of the sweetcorn batter in the wok.
  7. Cook for a few minutes, turning the fritters until they are brown on both sides 
  8. Serve as a starter or taster addition to a main meal.

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The World Kitchen Garden Day is an annual, decentralized celebration of food produced on a human-scale.

It is recognized each year on the 4th Sunday of August and is an opportunity for people around the world to gather in their gardens with friends, family, and members of their local community to celebrate the multiple pleasures and benefits of home-grown, hand-made foods.

Take a look here for all the details.  To find everything you need to grow your own where you are visit www.recycleworks.co.uk.

 

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