Category Archives: Environment

THE HEDGEHOG DIARIES: JUNE

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:

  • Discarded elastic bands: they can be an entanglement risk
  • The plastic holders from multipack drinks cans: they can be an entanglement risk
  • The plastic/foil/cardboard tubes that some savoury snacks come in: these represent a suffocation risk to small mammals such as hedgehogs

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….

If you spot a hedgehog out during the middle of the day, they may well be in trouble. Contact Willow Wildlife for advice on 07956 472284 or Michelle (on behalf of Friends of Shrewsbury Park) on 07849 534759.

More from the Hedgehog Diaries next month.

Thank you Michelle!

 

THE HEDGEHOG DIARIES: MAY 2020

May is the month when love is in the air for our hedgehogs.

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 herehttps://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.

FRESH WATER

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.

STRIMMING YOUR GARDEN? PLEASE TAKE CARE!

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.

LEAVE AN AREA OF YOUR GARDEN FOR NATURE

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/

BUILD A HEDGEHOG SUPER-HIGHWAY

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!

 

 

Keep moving! says RBG

Instructions from Royal Borough of Greenwich when you’re exercising in the park

PLEASE DO NOT sunbathe

                   DO NOT sit on benches or the grass

                   DO NOT play sports, even 2m apart

 It’s tough, but vital in the circumstances if we want this park to stay open and be ready when we can roam free again.          Thank you, friends and neighbours

MORE Lockdown Gallery

Woodland colour
Maggie following directions
The hole story
Courtesy of Tina Muddle

Hanging around and feeling a little Blue – John Denton
The long hot spring comes to a glorious end – John Denton
Basking in the evening Sun, (Comma Butterfly) – John Denton
Lockdown Blues – Susan Urpeth
May Greens- Susan Urpeth
Jack go to bed at Noon – Susan Urpeth
Shrewsbury Double – Jim Urpeth
Winter Outlines – Jim Urpeth
The Way Through – – Jim Urpeth
Courtesy of Tina Muddle
Courtesy of Tina Muddle
Julie Heyward (spot the parakeet)
Bernardo L

Courtesy of John Donnelly

Courtesy of John Donnelly
Courtesy of John Donnelly
Courtesy of John Donnelly
Courtesy of John Donnelly

Courtesy of Joyce Smith

Courtesy of Joyce Smith

Courtesy of Sally Wilson
Courtesy of Anthony Hurren
Courtesy of John Donnelly
Courtesy of our Chair, Kris Inglis
Jim Fraser
Courtesy of John Donnelly
Courtesy of John Donnelly
Courtesy of John Donnelly
Courtesy of John Donnelly
Courtesy of John Donnelly
Courtesy of Jim Fraser
Courtesy of Bridget Imeson
Courtesy of John Donnelly
Courtesy of John Donnelly
Courtesy of John Donnelly
Courtesy of John Donnelly

Using the park safely during the pandemic

You’ll be aware of the importance of social distancing in the park, tempting as it is to wander. We’d all like to be as carefree as the animals right now! But please obey the rules, and remind others who may forget.

We have received regulations, apologies and encouragement to pass on from the Royal Borough of Greenwich. This is a recap for your information.

  • All 2020 Parksfest events are cancelled – we had just begun to plan and book gigs.
  • The car park gates will be permanently open from 1 April due to budget cuts. I attended two meetings recently which included the Director and other council officers in Parks and Open Spaces and they will continue to monitor the effects of this action – one that many opposed. Thank you to everyone who answered the last minute call to challenge the consultation, that’s what got us the meeting. There are suggestions to appeal which we will follow up but everyone is currently dealing with priority issues.
  • Please have a look at the information below from Rob Goring of Park Dept.

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 werfsp@gmail.com 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:

  • Park Playgrounds
  • Outdoor gyms
  • Park sports facilities
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.

Spring 2020 has sprung!

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.

 

 

Bird Walk – Saturday 21 March – 9am start

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

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/bird-walk-saturday-21-march-tickets-91511502367

Or drop a note into 189 Plum Lane and we’ll put you on the list.

 

AGM – Thursday 14 Nov at 7pm

“Why should I care about biodiversity?”

Hmmm. Think about it. Then come to the AGM to discuss how we consider the habitats in our own Park.

  • Business meeting including election of Committee (you can put yourself forward on the night or contact werfsp@gmail ahead of time)
  • Any issues members wish to raise regarding the Park
  • A panel presentation will briefly present facts and ideas on the above topic and open up the meeting for your input and concerns on the wondrous variety of habitats and species that deserve to survive here.