Hi there, I have been meaning to post for some time to tell you about my efforts to make our area hedgehog friendly, and this thread seems to be the one to respond to. I live in a fairly leafy suburb where about 30 houses with large gardens back onto each other in a square. I became aware of a number of visiting hedgehogs about a year ago, and realised that they probably had access to quite a lot of gardens, which is why they were doing well. I watched the hogs avidly all summer and into the winter, and I took in and over-wintered an underweight autumn juvenile (named Iggie) in December. When it was nearly time to release Iggie, I decided I would invite the neighbours in our ‘square’ to come round to my house for an informal gathering to learn a bit about how to encourage hedgehogs and meet Iggie as she was released – a lot of people haven’t even seen a live hedgehog. So I printed invitations, using the Hedgehog Street invite for a template, and hoped people would come. I was delighted when I had twelve guests representing five other households come round. There were a few children and they were all really interested to hear what food they could supply, how they could make hedgehog hides in the garden and ensure there was a gap in their fence. They loved seeing Iggie and that evening Iggie ventured off into their gardens. I was really encouraged that there would be at least a few other families that would be looking out for her. Unfortunately one family brought their Spikes food round to me because they had rats and didn’t think they could continue to leave food out. Since Iggie’s release I have released another two females for the local rescue centre. From my night camera I have been able to identify Iggie visiting EVERY night. In fact she thinks she owns the feeding station and huffs furiously at any other hog that approaches. I have at least four regular visitors every evening and I’m hoping to see hoglets before too long. On the invitation I sent round, I listed things people could do, just in case they couldn’t come to the meeting, eg leave out water, check before strimming, don’t use slug pellets etc. So I’m hoping that even if not all the neighbours came, they might be more aware. So I’d say go ahead and reach out to your neighbours – there will be some people who want to help and it is worth it.
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