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Posts Tagged ‘hedgehog homes’

HEDGEHOG

It’s Hedgehog Awareness Week (3-9 May) with many ‘hedgehoggy’ events being held around the country, it is organised by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and aims to highlight the problems that Hedgehogs face and how we can help them.

There is no doubt about it a lot of you have been thinking about Hedgehogs this week, many of our wonderful Hedgehog Houses have been flying of the shelves complete with Hedgehog Food, Dishes and Hedgehog Guides what caring people you are.

We all love Hedgehogs but rarely get the chance to see them as they are nocturnal, usually only coming out at night to look for food having spent most of the day sleeping. At night Hedgehogs tend to ‘do the rounds’ and will visit many gardens unfortunately many gardens are fenced off, our gardens could provide the perfect habitat for Hedgehogs, just imagine if they were all joined together what a massive area this would be, in fact over half a million hectares.

Hedgehog Street is a campaign by The Peoples Trust for Endangered Species and The British Hedgehog Society which aims to ensure that the Hedgehog, the UK’s only spiny mammal, remains a common and familiar part of British life. Hedgehogs are in trouble, we’ve lost a third of all our hedgehogs in ten years. Their campaign is as much about getting people to cooperate as it is about gardening for wildlife.

Here are their top 10 tips for encouraging Hedgehogs into your neighbourhood

Tip 1   Link your garden

Make a hole in your fence or wall so that Hedgehogs can wander in and out, 13cm x 13cm is big enough but too small for most pets, ask your neighbours to do the same.

Tip 2  Make your pond safe

Hedgehogs are good swimmers, but can’t climb out of steep-sided ponds and will drown, set a pile of stones, a piece of wood or some chicken wire at the edge of your pond to create a simple ramp.

Tip 3  Create a wild corner

Leave the plants/weeds/grass to grow in a corner of your garden, don’t cut them back in winter, include some thick stems or branches to add structure this is an ideal place to put a Hedgehog House.

Tip 4  Deal with Netting and Litter

Hedgehogs can often become tangled and trapped in netting or litter such as food or drink cartons, replace netting with a rigid structure and keep taut, store netting inside when not in use.

Tip 5  Put out food and water

Hedgehogs really benefit from extra food, using it as a supplement to their natural diet, meaty cat or dog food, hedgehog food, and mealworms are all suitable. Put out a bowl of fresh water daily, water can be scarce at certain times of the year.

Tip 6  Stop using chemicals

Lawn treatments reduce worm populations, pesticides, insecticides and slug pellets are toxic and unnecessary in a healthy, well-managed garden, if you have a big slug problem use safe deterrents such as Slug Gone and Copper Tape or try Slug Traps or Nemaslug.

Tip 7  Check before strimming

Hedgehogs will not run away from the sound of a mower or strimmer – check before you cut and avoid causing horrific injuries or death. Single hedgehogs are easily moved, but use gloves! Moving a hedgehog family is more complicated and ideally they should be left undisturbed.

Tip 8  Be careful with bonfires

Piles of twigs, branches, leaves and grass are irresistible to a hedgehog looking for somewhere to hibernate or nest – if you have debris to burn, build your bonfire or move an existing bonfire on the day of burning.

Tip 9  Build a log pile

One of the best features for encouraging all kinds of wildlife – and so easy to make, it will attract insects, creatures and animals and provide nesting opportunities all year round.

Tip 10  Become a Hedgehog Champion

For lots more information and to register to join an army of over 30,000 volunteers all working together to help our native Hedgehogs take a look at www.hedgehogstreet.org

Most of the above tips are very simple and would make such a huge difference to our Hedgehogs, why not see what you can do in your garden, have a chat with your friends and neighbours too.

Work in harmony with nature in your garden

Gill

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We had a brilliant response to our October November Competitions, unfortunately there can only be one winner for each Zone, the lucky winners are:

In the Family Zone

John Stowe, Hampshire

In the School Zone

Fulbrook Middle School, Bedfordshire

both winners will receive:

Hogitat Hedgehog Home

The Hogitat Hedgehog House

A perfect winter retreat for your prickly garden friends

guide to Hedgehogs

Field Guide to Hedgehogs

and a pack of Hedgehog Food

Hedgehog Food

Well done to both of you and I hope that you soon have a Hedgehog making its home in your Hogitat

Look out for our next competitions in the New Year

Gill

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Hedgehogs are busy at the moment looking for a safe place to hibernate and eating plenty of food to build them up for the long winter months, if you love Hedgehogs why not have a go at our two free Gardening with Children Competitions, one in the Family Zone and one in the School Zone.

In both competitions you have a chance to win

Hogitat Hedgehog Home

The Hogitat Hedgehog House

A perfect winter retreat for your prickly garden friends

guide to Hedgehogs

Field Guide to Hedgehogs

and a pack of Hedgehog Food

Hedgehog Food

All you need to do in the School Zone Competition is to correctly identify which Trees the Seeds and Leaves pictured come from, in the Family Zone Competition you have to correctly identify the Fruit/Berries pictured, in each competition there is a list of options to help you.

Hurry, the closing date for both competitions is 30th November 2014

So what are you waiting for? Click on the above links to enter and find out more!

Good Luck

Gill

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If you have been reading my previous blogs you will know that I love Autumn especially getting out for a walk and collecting leaves, seeds, nuts and fruits I simply can’t resist it. The fruits such as Blackberries and Apples can be cooked to enjoy now in Pies and Crumbles or made into jams, chutneys and preserves to savour over the next few months, the seeds and nuts can be planted and will produce new flowers/wildflowers for your garden or a new generation of trees, all that remains are the stunning colourful leaves and the seed/nut cases.

You can have lots of fun with leaves and when you have finished they can be turned into valuable leaf mould for your garden, for lots of ideas for your wonderful leaves click here. This year the Beech has produced a bumper crop of seeds (which are often called Beechnuts or Beechmasts) and as I have quite a lot of the Beech seed cases I got thinking … they are very dry, hard and often spikey just like the prickles of a Hedgehog, so why not ….

Beech Seed Case Hedgehog

Make a Hedgehog from Beech Seed Cases

What you will need

  • Dry Beech Seed Cases
  • Potatoes
  • A Cocktail Stick
  • Sticky Tack or Glue
  • Conkers
  • Black felt tip pen

What you need to do

  1. Choose a potato preferably with a flat side (to stop it rolling around) this will be the bottom.
  2. Leave one end of the potato bare for the face then make holes with your cocktail stick in rows along the back and sides inserting beech seed cases by their stalks until you have covered your potato.
  3. Draw or stick on some eyes then add the conker nose securing it in place with Sticky Tack or Glue

If you have plenty of materials why not make a Hedgehog family and arrange them on a tray/lid with some of your leaves.

Hedgehogs are busy at the moment looking for a safe place to hibernate and eating plenty of food to build them up for the winter months, why not have a go at the new free Gardening with Children Family Competition or School Competition for a chance to win a Hogitat Hedgehog House, a Field guide to Hedgehogs and some Hedgehog Food for the Hedgehogs in your garden.

The Hogitat Hedgehog House

The Hogitat Hedgehog House – a perfect winter retreat for your prickly garden friends

Have fun

Gill

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As I sat at my computer on Tuesday I was greeted by a lovely illustration on the Google page of a group of trees, their leaves turned golden brown and dropped to the ground this was to mark the first day of Autumn (23 September), it is funny that after all the beautiful, warm, sunny and dry weather we have had the weather changed on Tuesday it was definitely Autumnal the temperatures had dropped and it rained needless to say the central heating went on that evening for the first time in many months.

Autumn Leaf Mix

Spectacular Autumn Leaves

What is the Autumn Equinox and who/what decides when it is going to happen?

The Equinox occurs twice a year The Spring Equinox around 20th March and the Autumn Equinox around 22nd September the exact dates and times change every year. The word Equinox comes from the Latin words ‘aequus’ meaning equal and ‘nox’ meaning night, as they occur on the days when the days/nights are approximately equal in length, for us in the Northern hemisphere the sun will continue to rise later and set earlier giving us the shorter days and longer nights of Autumn whilst in the Southern Hemisphere (e.g. Australia) Spring is on its way.

The Autumn and Spring Equinoxes are actually Astrological events, Autumn occurs when the sun passes the equator moving from the northern to the southern hemisphere and the North Pole begins to tilt away from the Sun, Spring occurs when the sun passes the equator moving from the southern to the northern hemisphere and the North Pole begins to lean towards the sun again, anyone that lives in the South Pole will now be seeing the sun for the first time in half a year, whilst those that live in the North Pole will be preparing for six months of darkness.

How does the Autumn Equinox affect people, animals and plants?

Harvest time and the Harvest Festival traditionally falls around the Autumn Equinox when we celebrate, gather and store our crops; the shortening days prompt our wildlife too to store food and to fatten up on Autumn’s abundant fruit, nuts and seeds to see them through the winter months. As the weather turns cooler we put the heating on, wear warmer clothing and extra layers, animals prepare for the cold by growing thick winter coats, many species of birds migrate to warmer climates, the ones that remain grow extra feathers during late Autumn to give them more protection during Winter. Much of our wildlife will be looking for a warm and safe place to shelter or hibernate, now is an ideal time to install some homes for the creatures in your garden, such as Bee, Butterfly and Insect houses, Bird boxes, Hedgehog houses, Bat boxes and Frog and Toad houses.

Hedgehog Igloo House

The cosy Hedgehog Igloo House

Click on the links below for more information on:

Putting up Bird Boxes in your garden or Looking after garden wildlife during the winter.

Trees and plants prepare for winter, leaves change colour and drop off, plant stems die back, then they become dormant, living off the food that they have stored during the summer until the longer and warmer days of Spring return.

So put on an extra layer and see if you can spot any signs of Autumn

Gill

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