We can proudly announce the first of a continuing series of Hedgehog Diaries written by Michelle, an FSP member and hedgehog champion.
THE HEDGEHOG DIARIES: APRIL 2020
April‘s an active month for our hedgehogs, and you might start noticing them visiting your garden. Like this one last week on Eglinton Hill who dropped in for a snack…
As the days have grown longer and the weather warmer, most of our hogs will have emerged from hibernation. They’ll be very hungry from sleeping through the long winter months, so this month they’ll be building up their body fat ready for the busy months ahead. Hedgehogs normally eat beetles, worms and other invertebrates, and at some points in the year these can be harder to find.
If you’ve been visiting the park recently, you’ll probably have noticed how much the ground has dried over the last weeks. Areas that seemed like a mud-bath in March, have now started to harden and crack. Along with finding food, this presents another challenge for the hogs as water is less readily available.
As well as food and water, this month the hedgehogs will be checking out potential nesting sites. They’ll be looking for safe, secluded places to bed down ready for the coming breeding season.
There are plenty of things that you can do at home to give the hogs a helping hand this month. Why not consider:
- Get together with your neighbours and agreeing to make a hedgehog highway. All you need to do is create connected spaces between gardens by making a 13 cm x 13 cm hole at the bottom of a fence panel. Safe, connected spaces are important as a hedgehog can roam up to 2km in one night.
- Build a cosy log pile, or place a hedgehog house in a quiet, safe and hidden spot in your garden.
- Put out shallow bowls of water and meaty (not fish) dog or cat food. Kitten biscuits are also a great option. DON’T OFFER BREAD OR MILK!
Find out more about what you can do here: https://www.hedgehogstreet.org
Hedgehogs have been seen frequently in Shrewsbury Park over recent years, so if you’re walking in the late evening or after dark, keep your eyes open! We’d be really keen to know if you spot one and where. This will help us to build a picture of where these wonderful, prickly creatures are hiding out.
REMEMBER: 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.