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 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.
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!
We can proudly announce the first of a continuing series of Hedgehog Diaries written by Michelle, an FSP member and hedgehog champion.
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
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 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:
- 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.
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!
‘Five Old Queens’ Triumphant at the 2019 quiz!
A fantastic time was had by all at the latest quiz in collaboration with Friends of Shrewsbury House!
Our Quizmasters, Dee and Geoff were as amazing as ever, the concluding round even included musical participation from the teams!
‘Five Old Queens’ romped home and took a yummy bottle of wine each for their efforts.
We hope we can persuade Dee and Geoff to host another quiz soon – we can’t wait!