Courtesy of John Donnelly
Courtesy of Joyce Smith
We have received regulations, apologies and encouragement to pass on from the Royal Borough of Greenwich. This is a recap for your information.
And most of all, continue to appreciate the park. Although we can’t guarantee any walks or events in Shrewsbury Park for the near future, the ideas remain fresh and ready to go.
If you are doing your solitary exercise, listening to the birds and the buds popping open, and you see a photo opportunity or have some creative thoughts please send your pictures to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll add them to a gallery here.
Best wishes for your safety and calm in the coming weeks. Nature is doing it’s best to keep us cheerful.
Kris and the Management Committee
From Rob Goring, Strategy and Development Manager of Parks and Open Spaces:
As of 25 March we will be temporarily closing all:
All park cafes should also be closing but some may remain open to provide takeaway services only.
Our parks will remain open to allow people to exercise once a day but people using our parks should social distance and keep at least 2 metres away from people outside their households.
No more than 2 people may gather in our parks and open spaces except where the gathering is of a group of people who live together – this means that a parent can, for example, take their children to the shops if there is no option to leave them at home.
Most parks office staff are remote working i.e. working from home and Grounds Maintenance staff and Park Rangers are not classified as key workers and therefore will not be attending work, in-line with government instructions. However, if possible we may have a couple of Rangers/Ranger Managers working each day to carry out checks in parks.
Our Cemeteries and Crematorium are open and operating as normal but again in line with government instructions people should social distance where possible and keep at least 2 metres away from people outside their households. In terms of people attending funeral services it is advised that only members of the immediate family should attend.
As we learned last month, May was when the hedgehog breeding season started to get into full swing. Once pregnant, it will be around four weeks before a hedgehog mother gives birth to her litter. The number of hoglets born will normally be between four and five.
For those mothers who started the breeding season early, their hoglets may already have started to emerge from the nest. It’s more likely that you’ll start to see babies in July, but keep your eyes open because you never know when they’ll be about.
Did you know that a hedgehog can live for up to 6 years? Find out MORE HERE.
Here are our top hedgehog tips for this month:
SPOTTED A HEDGEHOG? If you spot a hedgehog either in your garden or somewhere in the local area, please let us know. It would be really exciting to build up a picture of where and when they are being seen locally.
You can also log your sightings with Hedgehog Street (project run by the Hedgehog Preservation Society) who are building up a national picture of the state of our hog population. Find out MORE HERE. ‘Make a hole, make a difference!’
CONTINUE TO PROVIDE FRESH WATER Although we’ve had a lot of rain in recent weeks, fresh water remains an important resource. Continue to put out a shallow dish in your garden and keep it topped up with fresh water throughout the month.
GARDEN PONDS If you have a pond in your garden, you may get hedgehogs visiting for water and to find yummy invertebrates to eat. Always make sure that there is an escape route, with a gentle shelved area to allow any animals who fall in to the water a to get out easily. Hedgehogs can swim, but may drown if they are unable to climb out of the water.
LITTER PICK Sadly, there have been instances of littering in our parks and open spaces. If you’re out and about and see something that could be harmful to wildlife, please consider carefully picking it up and placing it in a bin. Always be aware of vital hand hygiene, though, and it’s recommended that you wear gloves. Thoroughly wash your hands for at least 20 seconds if you touch anything that has been discarded.
Some of the things that can be particularly harmful to animals like hedgehogs include:
NOT BUILT YOUR HEDGEHOG SUPER-HIGHWAY YET? Don’t forget that it’s a simple case of cutting a 13 cm x 13 cm hole at the bottom of a fence panel to create one. This gives hedgehogs the chance to roam between gardens, find suitable nesting spaces and a plentiful supply of health food and water.
Check out recent VIDEO HERE Got any grub….
More from the Hedgehog Diaries next month.
Keep an ear out for loud grunting and snuffling noises in the garden at night. This could be a giveaway of amorous hedgehog activity.
Did you know, that after mating, the male hedgehog leaves and takes no part in rearing the young? You may see a hedgehog collecting leaves for bedding material, it’s possible this could be a female preparing her nest for the arrival of her babies. If you’d like to know more about hedgehog mating behaviour, you can read more here. https://www.hedgehogstreet.org/about-hedgehogs/hoglets/
Here are some of the things that you can be doing in May to help for the arrival of this season’s baby hedgehogs.
We’re still experiencing very dry conditions, so the top recommendation this month is to continue to put out plenty of fresh water. Use shallow bowls that are easy for the hedgehogs to drink from.
Remember that meaty dog or cat food is a great supplement to their diet. Whilst beetles are their favourite, putting out a bowl of food will give them an extra boost.
Strimmers are one of the biggest causes of serious injury & death for garden hedgehogs. If you are using a strimmer, please check all areas of long grass and brambles carefully first. A hedgehog was found in the park a couple of years ago that had suffered a rear leg amputation. Sadly the hog had to be put to sleep, and it was felt highly likely that he or she had suffered a strimmer injury.
Hedgehogs will often bed down in overgrown areas of a garden. If you can leave at least one area untouched, then the wildlife will love you forever! You’ll benefit from visits from bees and butterflies as well as other species. If you include some dead wood, you’re also creating the perfect habitat for our endangered stag beetles. Visit https://ptes.org/campaigns/stag-beetles-2/stag-beetle-facts/
If you haven’t yet spoken to your neighbours about creating a hedgehog super-highway, then there’s no time like the present. Just a 13 cm x 13 cm hole at the bottom of a fence panel is all it takes. You could be rewarded with the pitter-patter of tiny hoglet paws in the months to come if you do!
We can proudly announce the first of a continuing series of Hedgehog Diaries written by Michelle, an FSP member and hedgehog champion.
You may have been faithfully walking the dog in the Park in the rain or just hit the occasional sunny day so far, but hopefully you’ve seen the crocuses and daffodils appearing here and there. These are the results of planting over the last 3 years.
In November 2019 nine determined volunteers planted many new bulbs – courtesy again of Royal Borough of Greenwichl- mostly along the walkway from the top field to the Rowton Road slopes. Paul and Les tackled the perennial brambles to open up the old allotment loop path off Dothill.
Here are a few photos to say thanks for everyone’s efforts.
We will meet at the Garland Road gate at 9 for the annual bird walk led by Stuart Banks, friendly RSPB expert. Set aside an hour or two and join us for a gentle ramble to rediscover the birds who live in the Park and see how they are preparing nests, whistling their hearts out and claiming territories.
Ideal for kids, but not for dogs please. We will be on and off paths depending on access and the walk will go ahead even if it’s a light drizzle. So wear boots and appropriate clothing. Binoculars are helpful.
Book your FREE tickets here
Or drop a note into 189 Plum Lane and we’ll put you on the list.
We’d love to find out which project you’d like us to concentrate our efforts on this year?
Last year you chose a picnic bench, which we have now installed!
Please click through below to make your views known. It takes just seconds!