Helping our hedgehogs
We are very lucky in Litchborough to have resident hedgehogs, some of you may have heard that familiar snuffling sound at night as they forage for food. I am fascinated by these creatures and like many I am keen to help them all I can.
Here are some tips on how to help our prickly friends…
Avoid using slug pellets or other poisons in the garden
Take care to check before lighting a bonfire or forking over a compost heap
Hedgehogs are lactose intolerant – do not feed milk. Bread is low in energy so fairly worthless to them as a food source
Provide a shallow dish of water
Feed meat-based wet chicken cat or dog food (try and avoid fish varieties)
Hedgehogs are nocturnal and only come out at night. Generally, any hedgehog out during the day is probably poorly and in need of help. Pick them up using gardening gloves, put them in a cardboard box and contact http://www.helpwildlife.co.uk we are lucky to have a hedgehog rescue person in Bugbrook and happy to share her number if needed. There is the possibility that during the summer months the female hedgehogs may appear in the afternoon to forage, if you are unsure contact 01844 292292.
I have been lucky to work with the rescue lady in Bugbrook and provide a release site for rescued hedgehogs, so hopefully the numbers in Litchborough will continue to grow.
Hedgehog require a large area in which to forage during the night and one of the reasons for this decline is that their foraging routes are being blocked more and more by fences and other objects blocking holes that they could go through for their hunting.
One of the ways we can try to stop this decline is by the creation of ‘hedgehog highways’ where holes are deliberately left in places so that they have access to wider ranges for foraging. To help with this we can put up signs by such holes asking that they do not get blocked.
A 13cm x 13cm is sufficient for any hedgehog to pass through. To find out more visit: https:https://www.hedgehogstreet.org/help-hedgehogs/link-your-garden/ It would be wonderful if Litchborough could declare itself a ‘Hedgehog Highway’ and for everyone to install a ‘Hedgehog Highway’ sign – installing the signs help prevent the hole from being accidentally blocked in the future.
The Hedgehog preservation society are able to offer the signs at a reduced price of £2 each if we purchase 50+ signs.
Towcester Wildlife Group are in full support of the project and Jenny Lunn from the group has kindly offered to donate 20 signs to the Village.