Oxhill News

www.oxhill.com / www.oxhill.org.uk

South Warwickshire, England.

The Oxhill News

September 2015

This months News

Contents

 

Hedgehogs

After many years absence when I thought we had lost our local hedgehog population altogether they appear to be making a comeback.  There have been several sightings around the village, indeed I have three regular visitors to my garden.  They are fascinating creatures and any gardener will tell you they are a good friend as they have a voracious appetite for slugs, worms and insects. They are nocturnal and sleep during the day in a quiet area, usually in brushwood, in woodland, under logs or even in your compost heap.  They forage during the night over a wide area, up to a mile, males even further. They have extremely poor eyesight but have acute hearing and smell. They are usually solitary except when the females have hoglets usually in March/April.  They are with their mother for a few weeks and then strike out on their own.  Hedgehogs hibernate from roughly November to March although they can be seen occasionally up to Christmas in the early evening if the weather is mild foraging for food to keep them going through the winter. Hedgehogs' main enemy is badgers so they are safe from them in the village.  However foxes will have go at a hedgehog and occasionally cats.   Of course with the unfortunate habit of either curling up into a ball or crouching stock still on the ground when perceiving a threat their biggest danger in the village is cars. Hedgehogs in general have seen a catastrophic drop in numbers over the last 20 years so if you want to help our village hedgehogs survive here are a few tips.

Make a 7 inch hole under your fence so the hedgehog can come and go through your garden and into neighbouring gardens or fields.  Hedgehogs will eat dog/cat food as well as scraps from under your bird table. Large pet stores have bags of hedgehog food and mealworms are a particular favourite.   Put a saucer of food out in the evening with another bowl of water.  Do not feed them milk it gives them an upset tummy.  Be careful when turning over your compost heap or moving a pile of logs you may disturb a hedgehog at any time of the year.  If you have a quiet corner of your garden, preferably under trees, make a large pile of logs with a narrow entrance for them to take up residence in over the winter.  There are hedgehog boxes available on the internet (or you can make one) which will give them a safe, warm and dry home to hibernate in.  If you set it up now they will have probably come across it during the next few months and eventually make it their home for the winter.  Please drive very carefully around the village at night so you can make sure to avoid any hedgehog that is lying in the road.    On behalf of Solo and Little and Large (my prickly visitors) thank you!

Gaynor Van Dijk

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Last modified: September 01, 2015