A few stories from sharing our garden with hedgehogs: the good, the bad and the cheeky!
A Saturday in March, 2021
2pm; opened the Hedgehog Feeder Station to replace the food and water. A big surprise, inside is a sleeping hedgehog! A large one.
Hedgehogs do not sleep next to their food. Phoned a local Hedgehog rescue carer for advice.
The previous week the nights had been warm, Saturday night was very cold. The hedgehog, still weak after only just coming out of hibernation had fallen asleep in the feeding station. Falling asleep randomly like this, the carer told me, is not uncommon, kind of like going back into hibernation. Since the hedgehog had eaten and drunk we agreed to monitor the situation. If there was no activity by dusk the hedgehog would be conveyed to the rescue centre.
We put straw & hay in the box around the hedgehog, covered the box with an old blanket & let the sunshine warm the box. Put food outside and stayed around nearby to monitor what happened. Some 20 minutes later the hedgehog could be heard scratching and moving around in the box, no coughing or wheezing noises. This reassured us that the Hedgehog wasn’t in immediate danger. Just after dusk we ventured out, the hedgehog had gone.
A summer afternoon in 2020
Watering the back garden. Nothing remarkable of note. Then spotted a hoglet out in the open. Went to get a box from the garage, came back and it had vanished. Only in a subsequent conversation with Hallswood sanctuary did we find out about flukeworm. Maybe the Hoglet had flukeworm, maybe it survived but they are very vulnerable, we hope it did.
In a wildlife garden, creatures are wont to observe others and take advantage if they can. The resident male blackbird taught all his offspring how to get free food from the hedgehog feeding station!
When the food tray is cleaned and refilled, any small scraps get thrown on the lawn for the Blackbird. Except the Magpie spotted this and is down in a flash to get what it can. Nature wastes nothing!
A Failed Hedgehog Hibernation house
The theory – at the back of the garden, where it’s quiet, a wooden entrance, made dark by covering the house with old sods and garden waste.
Result - the sods settled out, the garden waste rotted down. Much too light. Pretty well constant bird activity from nearby tree and bird feeders – very noisy. Plastic – perfect for a feeding station but not a hibernation house. The hedgehog hibernates in the nearby compost heap instead!
Why it’s fun
Every day there’s always something interesting to see gardening for hedgehogs, it’s always nice to capture a few hedgehogs on camera, you know you must be doing something right for wildlife.