We’re now into day two of Wild About Gardens Week (26 October – 1 November) and what a soggy day it is. Still, it might encourage slugs, snails and worms out into our gardens for the hedgehogs, this year’s star of Wild About Gardens Week, so they can have a pre hibernation feast. To see how citizen science is informing us of hedgehog hibernation patterns see: hibernation report
Don’t forget to look in any bonfires you might be lighting for Halloween and Guy Fawkes night to check for wildlife. If you find an animal please make sure you move it a safe distance away.
Small creatures like piles of wood and leaves for shelter, so why not help them in your garden by providing a pile just for them? Other things we can do as recommended in the Wild About Gardens Week Hedgehog Handbook include:
1. Create ‘hedgehog highways’ in your fences to connect your gardens.
2. Provide an escape route out of ponds – ‘hogs are great swimmers but they struggle to climb out.
3. Create a variety of habitats e.g. ponds, hedges, log piles and compost heaps to attract food for the hedgehog.
4. Build a hedgehog home – give them somewhere to hunker down for the winter.
5. Let your grass grow wild (or even a section of it) to encourage the hedgehog’s prey. Check carefully before mowing or strimming areas.
6. Create nesting opportunities – leave wild areas for ‘hogs to hibernate.
7. Set up a feeding station offering hedgehog food or meaty pet food and water.
8. Tidy up – litter harms wildlife, and hedgehogs can also become entangled in garden netting.
9. Keep domestic drains covered, hedgehogs can fall into them and get stuck.
10. Check bonfires before lighting; ideally rebuild them on the day it is to be lit.
11. Keep your gardens green – paving and decking over gardens reduces hedgehog habitat.
These activities are most beneficial if we work together as a community. For the full text of the Wild About Gardens Hedgehog Handbook go to: Hedgehog Handbook
Orchard Park Wildlife Project will be in Lush, Lion Yard on Saturday 31 October from 12-4pm to give wildlife gardening tips. Come along and make a pledge to help our local wildlife, there’ll be wildlife colouring for children, and find out how to enter a photo competition to win hedgehog prizes – Royal Horticultural Society Hedgehog Photo Comp. Lush are also very kindly fundraising again for Orchard Park Wildlife Project – if you buy their Charity Pot on Saturday, proceeds will go towards equipment for Orchard Park Wildlife Project’s activities. We are very grateful to Lush once again for their generosity.