October 2012 – Newsletter

Hedgehogs in October

 Many of the larger hedgehogs have already gone into hibernation but there will still be plenty of hedgehogs about both large and small.

 The leaves will be falling from the trees now and these will provide extra bedding for the hedgehogs’ winter nests, these nests are called hibernaculums.  It isn’t just the hedgehogs that benefit from the fall of leaves.  Birds love them too – they can be seen turning over the leaves looking for grubs and creepy crawlies.  Please do take care if you rake up these leaves as you may disturb a hedgehog in its hibernation.  Also take great care if you decide to burn any garden debris as hedgehogs may well move into an inviting pile between you raking it up and setting fire to it.  Always move the pile before putting a match to it to ensure nothing has made a home in it.

 Many people will put out extra food in the winter for their local birds.  But when there are cold spells the hedgehog’s natural food will be harder to find too.  So why not put an extra tin or two of meat based cat or dog food or some dry cat biscuits or dry hedgehog food in your shopping basket – just in case!  If all the food is gone by the morning then you know it has been well received and perhaps can put a little more out the next evening.  A plastic box upturned with a hole cut in its side (4-5” square) should stop cats stealing the food and keep the hedgehog dry whilst eating its dinner.  Alternatively a paving slab on some bricks with a gap as an entrance would be even more secure.

When food is put out like this people are often surprised to find they don’t have just one hedgehog visitor but several.

 If there is a small hedgehog visiting your garden try to catch it and call us straight away.

 If you think there is a hedgehog in trouble call the Brackley HogWatch on 07528 119416 or 07976 704415, as you then will receive immediate advice – the earlier a problem is caught the easier it should be to solve.

If you have any doubts about a hedgehog do call the Brackley HogWatch. For more information about hedgehogs and making your garden safer for hedgehogs visit our web site www.brackleyhogwatch.org