Kingswood Warren – A haven for hedgehogs?
By Sarah Wilson
I think that Kingswood Warren must be a perfect place for concerted community action to increase the population of hedgehogs. We have large gardens with many woodland areas and leaf piles and relatively quiet roads.
As it has been a very warm winter so far many hedgehogs might have not yet gone into hibernation, so we can start our campaign right now.
The things we can do are:
- Leave a wild area at the far end of your garden with leaves and logs.
- Make sure your boundary has several gaps in it for hedgehogs to move across gardens (they roam around a surprisingly large area). The gap should be at least 13cmX13cm.
- Put out some water and dog food in shallow dishes at the bottom of the garden – not bread and milk as this may kill them.
- If you have a pond make sure there is a sloping beach or ramp so they can get out if they fall in.
- Don’t use slug pellets in the wild areas of your garden.
- Always check under bonfires before you light them – hedgehogs love to nest in piles of leaves.
- Watch out when you use strimmers and mowers in long grass – they can injure hedgehogs.
- Think about building or buying a hedgehog house – you can get them at RHS Wisley or see instructions on how to make one from the website of the Devon Wildlife Trust – Help the Hog Campaign.
I think we should report sightings of hedgehogs over the next six months and we can then see if we are encouraging hedgehogs to live in Kingswood Warren. If you see a hedgehog, or better still have a family living in your garden, contact me by email by clicking here and we can report findings on the Kingswood Village website.