Archive for October, 2010

Keep A Watch For Hedgehogs this Autumn!

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

It’s that time of year again – autumn! With autumn come some dangers to our local wildlife in England.

Hedgehogs and Pumpkins

I’d like to take this opportunity to talk about hedgehogs, one of England’s favourite garden animals. Our hedgehog population is decreasing at a rapid rate, and if things continue the way they are, they could be extinct in less than 50 years. This is mainly due to the use of slug pellets – DO NOT USE THEM – they kill hedgehogs!

Remember that at this time of the year hedgehogs go into hibernation. Many people start the planning of their bonfires many weeks in advance. They collect wood, leaves and other garden plants, pile them up and these are then burnt. Unfortunately, these are death traps for hibernating hedgehogs who think that these are perfect places to overwinter (and not only hedgehogs love these piles of wood and leaves – frogs, toads, grass snakes and slow worms love them, too.).

To ensure that your garden hedgehogs are safe this autumn, you can take a few precautions.

Build your bonfire a few days before your event.

If you must collect and pile up materials before the event, consider moving the bonfire 20 metres before burning it, on the night before or the day of the burning. This will ensure that any creatures can have a way to escape. If you cannot move the bonfire also consider looking around and under the piled up debris with a torch and a broom to alert the sleeping hedgehogs that people are near and this isn’t a safe place for them.

Also, be sure to be careful where you place your bonfire to avoid burning trees and other animal habitats.

Please be careful out there this year and remember that we share the world with these beautiful creatures.