Tag Archives: flora and fauna

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!

 

 

Tree Identification Walk

Local  enthusiastic amateur, John Denton, will lead us on a walk through the park – introducing you to local flora and fauna, you’ll learn more than you ever dreamt of about the trees in the park, how they’ve survived and thrived, how old they are and much more!

Sunday 28 April at 2pm

Meeting point : Notice Board by the car park. Binoculars and magnifying glass would be handy.  Sturdy footwear would be an advantage.

No dogs please.
Rain or shine, we’ll still go ahead

Read and download John’s  Trees Key and Tree Classification in advance of the walk!

Trees Map

Bee-autiful day for a Pollen Walk

The weather gods were smiling on Sunday 13 May, as we gathered in the park to look at bee behaviour around the blossoming flowers, ably guided by local Apiarist, John Large.

The idea was to mark some foraging honey bees, with a view to finding them in the apiary hives later, but the bees proved (mainly) elusive.

Walking through Shrewsbury Park – May 2018

We then departed for Oxleas Wood Apiary, where after a short, but informative talk, beekeeping suits and gauntlets were passed round, preparing us to get up close and personal with the bees.

Opening up the hives identifying the Queens, and seeing the way the pollen, nectar, honey and bee larvae were stored was a real eye-opener.

Later on, we even got a chance to taste the amazing honey – a great day with a very sweet ending!

More photos here

Thanks go to John Large – find out more about his Beekeeping courses and Apiary Days now.

Spring Foraging Walk – Sunday 6 May at 2.30pm

Meet at Garland Road entrance This free walk will take about 1.5 hours and finish at the car park off Plum Lane.

Kevin Godby of GCDA leads the walk, suitable for beginners or those who want to revisit his Autumn foraging trail of last year in a new season. 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. A small teaspoon might be handy too…

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 werfsp@gmail.com so we can help. No dogs, please.

This is an all-weather walk!

 

Autumn Bat Walk – Friday 1 September at 8.00pm

Meet in the car park at twilight for an introduction from bat-wise FSP members who will lead this adventure through the Park using our eyes, ears and bat detectors!

  • Walk is free to members, £2 others (but free to join on the day)
  • Wear sturdy shoes and appropriate clothing for the weather
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult
  • Walk lasts about 1 1/2 hours and torches are helpful
  • Dogs must be kept on a lead

If you have mobility issues or enquiries please contact us on werfsp@gmail.com and we will help you participate. The trail is a mix of paved path, gravel and grass.

If it rains neither the bats nor us will be coming out!

Hedgehogs in the Park

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.