Hedgehogs, Houses and Highways!
We know we have written about them before but Hedgehogs need our help! This is because nationally their numbers have reduced dramatically, with over a third of the population lost since the year 2000, making them vulnerable to extinction. We can look after our hedgehog population by providing suitable habitat in our gardens in the form of hedgehog houses and we can create safe connections between our gardens with hedgehog highways. The below information comes from Hedgehog Street:
If you don’t have a hedgehog house in your garden yet, here’s how you can make a simple DIY one:
“Take a spare plastic storage box, planter or milk crate (make sure it has holes) and flip it upside down. Make an entrance that’s 13cm x 13cm and provide some bedding like dry leaves or pet straw.”
Or if you want to make a wooden home:
“Use untreated, unpainted wood (ideally durable UK softwood species like larch, Douglas fir and red cedar). Make a box about 30cm x 40cm and include a 13cm x 13cm entrance tunnel. Entrance tunnels help stop predators or cats getting into the house and can be made of wood or bricks. Remember not to nail the roof down (so that you can clean inside). March and April are the best months of year to clean out your hedgehog house, but please make sure it’s before the breeding season as disturbing a mother can cause her to abandon her hoglets.
You can cover the above boxes with some plastic sheeting and then cover with leaves/soil/grass cuttings. Any straw or dry leaves left outside will likely be taken in and used for bedding.
Hedgehog Houses are best placed in sheltered locations, along boundaries, in back gardens and within 5m of the house. The presence of pets or predators doesn’t appear to put off a local hedgehog from moving in!”
Hedgehogs need to forage in several gardens and habitats for survival and they can travel over 1km per night! So we need to provide hedgehog highways through our gardens. This can be easily done by cutting a 13cm x 13cm hole in your fencing or drilling a hole in your brickwork at ground level.
To find out more about Hedgehogs you can get involved by visiting a variety of websites including Hedgehog Street: https://www.hedgehogstreet.org/ and https://www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk/
Risby Wildlife Working Group News
We are delighted to say that the Woodland Trust are donating free hedging plants and tree saplings for us to plant on the Recreation Ground. Once lockdown rules relax, we hope to organise a working group in April. It will be so lovely to get together again and do something as a group in the outdoors.
Images from WWG members