Clearing a junk filled garden
20th August 2022 at 8:54 am #39287
Really need advice guys. I have a section of garden which has been unused for years and is full of broken furniture etc (nice, I know!). During the recent extended dry spell hedgehogs have emerged desperate for water from my birdbath’s here in the cleared section. Now it know they’re there, I’ve obviously gone in there to leave food and water. I’ve seen two emerge at dusk each night so I suspect they live here. Question is, do I go up there and clean it all up for them? I don’t want to frighten them off. It hasn’t been touched for at least 15yrs. They stink to high heaven so must be camped up in filthy conditions. I’ve bought two new houses for them, plus bedding. Please advise me what to do 🙏20th August 2022 at 7:22 pm #39301
If you mean the hedgehogs stink to high heaven, that is a bit worrying. They normally only smell that bad if they have infected injuries. I would ring your nearest hog carers and take their advice. (Injuries aren’t always easy to see amongst the spines). You can get contact details of your nearest hog carers/rehabilitators by ringing BHPS on 01584 890801. I believe volunteers answer that number out of office hours.
I would try to encourage the hogs away from the messy area (assuming there are at least some that are well). So I would site your new hog houses in the tidy part of the garden and also feed them (cat/dog/meaty hog food or cat/kitten biscuits) in the tidy part of the garden. They have very good sense of smell, so will be able to detect the food. Don’t put the food too close to the hog houses if you want them to be used for nesting – that could attract predators to the hog houses. I would do that before you start gradually clearing the other site.
(Re. the furniture filled area of the garden, it’s not easy to advise not knowing size, layout, extent, etc. But I would be inclined to carefully start moving things from the edges. Being very careful to avoid disturbing any potential female hogs which might have young ones. )
If you have bedding, it’s best to just put a handful into the boxes and leave more in the general vicinity. Most hogs seem to prefer to do their own interior decorations and they may prefer not to have too much bedding if they are using them for sleeping during the day (in the hot weather we’ve been having).
It sounds as if there may already be water readily available, but it is important to leave water for the hogs all day every day – even during winter. Dehydrated hogs will sometimes come out during the day in search of water or even during hibernation season.
Good luck, I hope the hogs are ok. But do check that with a carer/rehabilitator. You can describe things in more detail to them. Let us know how you get on.
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