30 days of wild: day 21-bumps in the night

The last few nights I’ve set up the trail camera hoping to see evidence that the hedgehogs are coming back in the garden with no luck. With the extreme heat I’ve been worried that they might suffer from dehydration. I have water left in various locations around the garden for the use of birds, insects, amphibians and mammals to help during these dry periods, but hedgehogs are quite susceptible to dehydration.

I set up the trail camera with a few hours left of light. It saw a few visitors before nightfall.

Then during the night the first visitor wasn’t the hedgehog, but it was mammalian in nature. It was one of the mice that I believe live under the shed and come out for the bird feed. I keep the bird feed in sealed metal buckets to avoid them eating it all directly, but I can’t stop them from going to the feeders. But it is always nice to see any form of mammal surviving in the garden.

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Then later in the night I’m glad to say the hedgehog was spotted by the trail camera. It hasn’t been drained by the heat. I still love that they visit the garden a year on from discovery. Last year during 30 days I discovered hedgehogs and foxes on the school site. In my new garden I’ve got the hedgehogs, but I will admit to missing the fox sightings. Maybe in the future I’ll see more. For now I’ll enjoy my hedgehog footage.

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Hedgehog Awareness Week

This week is hedgehog awareness week. As such I thought I better check my hedgehog is still happy with the trail cam. I set it up for last night to check it’s still coming in to visit.

I’m glad to report it’s still there. Each time I check the trail cam and see it there on the photos and videos it still gives a thrill that these lovely creatures visit my garden.

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To get the hedgehogs in I did three things to encourage them to visit.

Last year I cut a small hole at the bottom of the back gate to allow the hedgehogs in. Fences can pose a serious obstacle to hedgehogs with many houses changing to impenetrable brick walls. Hedgehogs can cover a lot of ground in a night, but not if they find their path blocked. It does work, as I’ve seen them coming through when taking food waste down to the compost heap.

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A plastic box with a hole cut out made my hedgehog feeding station. The hole was covered round with duck tape to avoid sharp edges. While not the prettiest looking object it allows the hedgehog to feed without next doors cats eating it. The brick is just to weigh it down, so cats can’t get in to eat the food. You can buy neater looking wooden ones with spaces built in for feeding and hibernating.

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Wire hedgehog homes provide a place to hibernate. Mine haven’t been settled in yet, but the hedgehog does come and investigate it.

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Last weeks countryfile episode, in Warwickshire, featured a short section on hedgehog awareness week discussing more of what you can do.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b08pnvmg/countryfile-warwickshire

At school I haven’t managed to fit in any hedgehog related activities, so I will be building awareness a week behind.

That’s not my hedgehog-Fiona Watt

These touchy-feely books are loved by Alice. While low on plot, babies and toddlers love the different textured surfaces. While very basic I did use some of this series teaching year one about adjectives.

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The very helpful hedgehog-Rosie Wellesley

This nice little story talks about the many varieties of apples available and teaches about being helpful and friendship.

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For more grown up reading material with less anthropomorphising, Hugh Warick has a nice little book as park of  Reaktion Books animal series.

Hedgehog-Hugh Warwick

It’s been nice looking back over the blogs from the last year of what I’ve done to help hedgehogs. They’ve brought me lots of pleasure. Hedgehogs seem to be one of those animals everyone has a story about with everyone at one point having them in their gardens. What’s your hedgehog memories?