Be hedgehog aware

Thursday 25th October 2018

Hedgehog (c) Tom MarshallHedgehog (c) Tom Marshall

The county’s leading wildlife conservation charity is encouraging people across Worcestershire to put hedgehogs on their checklist before lighting their bonfires this year.

Staff from Worcestershire Wildlife Trust are issuing the plea in the run up to Guy Fawkes Night celebrations across the county.

Wendy Carter, communications lead for the charity, explained “To us a bonfire may be a reason to get together and keep warm on a cold autumnal evening but to our prickly friends who are looking for somewhere cosy to spend the winter, it could seem like a five star hotel.

“There are a range of things that people can do to help hedgehogs during this season – from building bonfires at the last minute to providing homes for hedgehogs elsewhere in your garden or local area.”

Top tips for builders of bonfires

  • Build the bonfire as close to the night of lighting as possible in order to minimise the chance of a hedgehog taking up hibernating residence. If it’s possible, pile the material next to the bonfire site and rebuild it on the day.
  • Search the bonfire for hibernating creatures using a torch and a rake before starting the fire.
  • Make an alternative home for hedgehogs by raking up grass cuttings or autumn leaves into a pile that’s a safe distance away from the bonfire site. Hopefully any sleep hedgehogs will slumber there before choosing your unlit bonfire. If any hedgehogs are found when you search the bonfire before lighting, move them to their new home.
  • Invest in a hedgehog box – these can either be bought or made.

Wendy continued “Hedgehogs are one of our most-loved mammals and, although their numbers have been declining in recent years, they’re found right across Worcestershire.

“It only takes a couple of minutes to check your bonfire but you could save a life by doing so.

“With a diet that includes slugs and snails, hedgehogs are great friends for gardeners and they need all the help that they can get. We’d encourage anyone with the space to think about creating a small pile of logs and leaves in an unused corner where a hedgehog could hide itself away.

“They’ll spend the winter snoozing so need somewhere safe to do so.”

Download our hedgehogs booklet for more information about helping hedgehogs at home.

Visit www.worcswildlifetrust.co.uk/hedgehogs to register your hedgehog sighting.
 

Tagged with: Species