Looking after our Wildlife
Hedgehogs: Hedgehogs are usually about in our gardens from late February to early December, but it really depends on the weather. After the first one or two warm days of the year, the hedgehogs may appear out of hibernation, but this is when they run into trouble. The weather can turn back to bitter cold and the hedgehog will be weak from its hibernation, having used up all it’s reserve of body fat. When a hedgehog first comes out of hibernation, it will be very thin, hungry and dehydrated. It can appear wobbly, if you see a hedgehog like this you can help by feeding cat, dog or hedgehog food (Spikes Dinner or Wild Things Hedgehog food)* and ensure there is plenty of water for them to drink (never feed bread and milk or mealworms, as these can kill hedgehogs). If you do not have any cat, dog or hedgehog food, a digestive biscuit with peanut butter on it is a good short-term substitute, or chopped chicken (raw or cooked) or a little mince. If you wish to feed regularly feeding under an up turned tomato box weighted down with a brick on it, will keep the cats away from the hedgehog’s food.
!If you ever accidentally disturb a hedgehog nest and the Mother is still with her hoglets (baby hedgehogs), please can you pick up the Mother immediately, if not she will run away, place her in a large box (cardboard or plastic) which has newspaper in the bottom and close the top or cover it, to make it dark inside the box and making sure she cannot escape. Then, wearing gloves pick up the nest with all the hoglets in it, careful not to drop any of the hoglet from the nest. Place the nest and hoglets into the box with the Mother, put a small dish of water in the box (and some cat food if you have any) remembering to do the box up again. Do not try to touch the hoglets or look in the box as this will disturb the Mother and she may attack or kill her babies. Telephone Hedgehog Welfare 07940 714830 Grantham/Newark Area (or your nearest Hedgehog Carer, list of carers are on www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk) straight away.!