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Those hedgehogs that had their litters in June will have started to take their babies out on foraging trips at night. This is so that the babies start to learn to find food for themselves. They won’t leave their mother just yet through, returning to the nest with her and continuing to take her milk as well as the food they find whilst out and about. It’ll be a few more weeks before they’re ready to leave, but they will be starting to develop the vital skills that they need to be able to survive on their own.
Did you know: the biggest predator of hedgehogs in the UK is the badger. Find out more here.
You may have seen in the news , headlines telling us that a number of our beloved native species are seriously in danger Amongst them is the hedgehog. If we all do a little bit to improve the environment for our prickly friends, we can play our part in helping to change that. Here are the things that you can be doing this month in your garden and in the local area to be kind to hedgehogs:
- Review the chemicals that you might be using in your garden. Slug pellets are a major threat to hedgehogs. They forage for the slugs and snails and can inadvertently ingest these poisonous chemicals. Slug pellets should be avoided at all cost as they kill hedgehogs.
- Remember to check overgrown areas before you use a strimmer.
- Don’t forget the importance of creating a small gap in your fences (13 cm by 13 cm) to help local hogs to get about more easily.
- Offering clean, fresh water to visiting hogs will continue to be a small, but very important, thing that you can do over the weeks ahead.
SPOTTED A HEDGEHOG IN YOUR GARDEN? 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 (the 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
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.
The Yogathon returns to Shrewsbury Park for a third year, in aid of Greenpeace. You are invited to participate in the practice of 108 Sun Salutations beginning at 11am (10.15 am for registration). Participants should bring cash for your donation of £20. Greenpeace volunteers will explain the use of this money in their aims and work crucial to our environment.
There will be delicious vegan food and Thai massage available to keep you going as well! And a kids’ Eco Hero fancy dress competition!
For more information please visit http://www.yogabypri.com
Can dog walkers please keep dogs on a lead in the top field between 10.30am and 3pm during this event – for everyone’s safety and peace of mind.
Many thanks for your cooperation
Thank you 10th Royal Eltham Cubs!
The Cubs, their parents and their leaders made our Great British Clean Up Day a fun event providing 18 volunteers for two hours gathering (mostly) rubbish and litter along the Dothill pathway. And a big THANK YOU to the three(!) FSP volunteers who turned out.
We had some serious environmental chats with the Cubs who certainly know their way around recycling! Check out the Beavers’ posters still displayed around the Park.
This is a belated but heartfelt thank you to the Scouts, Cubs and Beavers and of 10th Royal Eltham Division and their noble leaders who contributed time and energy to regenerating a neglected patch of the park on Plum Lane across from Dallin Road.
Finding food in the Park
Sunday 10 September saw the much-anticipated Foraging Walk take place at Shrewsbury Park. Around 35 local people attended the walk to learn which hedges, plants and trees to forage from, but also those to avoid. The park offers a huge array of plants which can be used as food in a raw state, cooked, or in the form of teas. Amongst others they sampled cherry plums, hops, sloes, ground elder, burdock, horseradish, yarrow and raspberries.
Kevin Godby, a local expert who works for Greenwich Co-operative Development Agency (GCDA) on their Growing Greenwich Project demonstrated how to find the seeds, berries and fruit and how to safely consume them. He shared home-made jam and produce that he had made from berries found in the park, pointing out where they grew as he went along the trail.
Kevin said: “It’s important to remember that foraging is about eating a little from a range of different fruit and not lots from one place, as the body needs variety and too much from one place can tip the balance the wrong way.”
Kris Inglis, Chair of FSP said “we have all learnt so much about what we can and can’t consume from the hedgerows. It is amazing to find so much in one space, which will change with every season. Until today we knew little of this intriguing aspect of the park.”
Michael Stuart, a keen forager from Kilburn also attended to offer his experience; his key advice is to observe an area to get to know it and see how it changes through the seasons which will lead to a deeper appreciation of the environment. He recommends winter and spring for the variety of fresh leaves available to add to salad.
By Sandra Bauer
- Cherry plums
- Hawthorn berries
- Ground elder
- Ash key
- Birch syrup – harvest in march
- Oregon grape
- Lime tree
Shrewsbury Park is the venue for a Yogathon in aid of Greenpeace, organised by Priscila Diniz, one of several local Iyengar yoga teachers instructing and guiding you through Sun Salutations on the day. For details of the format, how to register and what to bring, please visit http://yogabypri.com/yogathon.htm
Meet at the Garland Road entrance The free walk will take about 1.5 hours and finish at the car park off Plum Lane.
Join us as Kevin Godby leads this introduction to foraging walks, suitable for beginners. You will learn to identify around 18 common forageable species, be shown where they grow and taste some of them too!
You may also bring along something to take home the things you come across, if you wish.
Please wear suitable footwear and be aware we will be walking uphill. This walk is aimed at adults. If you have questions about the route re mobility please contact firstname.lastname@example.org so we can help. No dogs, please.
This is an all-weathers walk!
An FSP member and dog walker has taken up the role of Hedgehog Guardian after discovering there is a growing population of ‘hogs’ inhabiting Shrewsbury Park. This is her initial idea that we hope to support and put in place – with your help.
Michelle says: “This hot and arid weather is a real problem for them. They can’t dig for food because the ground’s too hard, and of course, water is in scarce supply. One of the key things I was thinking about was putting ‘water stations’ (i.e.pet water bowls) in strategic locations in the park. If we can get people on board with helping to keep them regularly topped up with fresh water, then this would be fantastic. I’m happy to do this when I go out with my dogs of a morning, but if we can maybe get some ‘hedgehog champions’ on board, then that’d be great.”
Those of you who came on the May Bat Walk will know firsthand that hedgehogs are about in the night – we met one who simply froze when spotted in torchlights until we crept back to the path and let it get on with foraging for dinner.
Keep your eyes open and report any sightings. There will be a Hedgehog Stall at the Summer Festival to learn more about their habits and how to get involved in their welfare.
This photo combines two reasons to celebrate: Our new drinking fountain in use and a successful bird walk today (29 April).