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Home Forums Hedgehog signs and sightings Return of my regular Reply To: Return of my regular


Good to hear that others’ hedgehogs are returning following hibernation. We saw our first hedgehog in 20+ years last June, out foraging for food during the day. Not knowing a great deal about hedgehogs we bought a number of books on the subject and, of course, soon became aware that they do not usually venture out during daylight hours unless there is something wrong. This one, who we believe was female, appeared to be blind (at least in one eye as it was permanently closed), although she was otherwise active and seemingly okay. We believe that the mealworms we put out for the birds, having fallen from the table, had attracted her (we now know that mealworms should be avoided). The sight of this little hedgehog started something of an obsession, with us putting out fresh food and water every night. You can imagine our delight when more hedgehogs appeared; we believe there were two litters last year and on one occasion we counted eight all feeding in our garden – not bad for suburban Birmingham! Our first hedgehog had a special place in our hearts though, being so tame and with a sweet little face. Sadly it was not a happy ending for her; she had ventured across the road one night and was run-over. We were absolutely heartbroken and scooped her up and buried her in a little blanket in our garden. Many I’m sure would think we were mad but we couldn’t bear to leave her there and thought that her final resting place should be under the hedgerow. On a more positive note, the numerous hedgehog houses made by my dad and placed under the hedges and shrubbery appear to have helped, especially given what has been a fairly hard winter here. We have seen five hedgehogs out and about since April, with a large male chasing a couple of females to mate. All are being fed a mixture of Spike, Vitakraft, cat meat, chicken and cat biscuits. Our kind neighbours are doing the same. Sadly we heard of another fatality near the same spot as the last one a couple of weeks ago. I’m praying that they remain a rarity; the road is generally quiet at night but it is still a case of Russian roulette. We are hopeful of more litters and that overall numbers can be increased. I leafleted homes on a couple of nearby roads last year, using info provided by Hedgehog Street, to try and raise awareness. It is impossible to do all roads so I have concentrated my efforts on those with houses whose gardens are large and back onto park and woodland. Admittedly the people living on those roads are generally more middle-class, whom I believe will be more receptive to our conservation efforts. The big thing for me is that access between gardens is improved. I absolutely detest the trend for close-board timber fence panels and concrete gravel boards, so am trying to encourage people to use hedgehog-friendly fencing (or preferably just hedging). In the meantime, we are hopeful of more litters this year so fingers crossed. I really hope that the national picture improves as a result of everyone’s collective effort.