21st August 2019 at 11:19 am #17435
My registered social landlord has banned me from feeding my little family of hedgehogs stating that it may encourage rats & big birds. I have been feeding them for 5 years, have a hedgehog house hidden in the communal garden &my scheme manager was aware of this. My husband who passed away last Sept cared so much for them & I am recovering from cancer. Any ideas what action I can take??? Thanks everybody XX21st August 2019 at 2:14 pm #17451
So sad to hear about what you have written. It’s difficult to know what to suggest without knowing a few more details. For instance, what have you been feeding the hedgehogs?
Unfortunately it is possible that feeding hedgehogs could attract rats, although it seems comparatively infrequent. Sometimes it is feeding birds that initially attracts rats. Do people feed the birds there? Not that I would want to stop anyone feeding the birds, either. But, there are plenty of other things which also attract rats. I hope the hedgehogs are not being used as ‘scapegoats’.
But if you feed the hedgehogs cat food, the rats are less likely to be interested, although that might attract cats. Or are they banned as well?! Although you could set up a cat proof feeding station. Maybe someone could help you with that?
Or (not such an easy option) is it possible for you to watch the hedgehogs whilst they are feeding so that if any rat did happen to appear, you could scare it away? But also make sure any left-overs are very carefully cleared up (and also clear up any food dropped under bird feeders).
I can’t see any reason why feeding hedgehogs should attract big birds. They aren’t normally about at night time, when the hedgehogs are!
It seems so sad to ban someone innocent pleasure which at the same time is helping hedgehogs which are having such a hard time these days. The ideal thing would be to make the whole communal garden wildlife friendly so that the hogs would still visit to find wild food for themselves. That is something which could give much pleasure to all users of the communal garden.
Are there any friendly neighbours who might feed the hedgehogs and perhaps invite you round to watch them sometimes?
Sounds to me as if your Landlord needs to know what a good thing it is feeding hedgehogs and caring for wildlife. Not only for the sake of the wildlife, but also for the mental wellbeing of any people involved, either in the caring for or even just the watching of wildlife. Being amongst nature is a great healer.
Sorry not very much help, but if I think of anything else, I’ll let you know.
I wish you the very best of luck.21st August 2019 at 4:09 pm #17452
I’ve already posted in reply to your post, but it seemed to disappear so I will try again!
I was so sorry to read about your miserable situation, there always seems to be someone around that’s ready to ‘rain on others parade’ .
Unfortunately, not everyone recognises the value of caring for wildlife- but in my experience the nicest people, are those that do!
What a shame your landlord even found out, did someone complain? I have been trying to promote a hedgehog street with my neighbours, but it seems like a no go ! Some don’t want holes in their fence and others just don’t want to encourage wildlife to their garden! Seems very strange to me, when all the houses back onto fields ! But you know what they say ( there is nothing stranger than folk) 😂
As a retired social worker, I fully appreciate the healing associated with the environment and enjoying the wildlife.
Perhaps as Nic suggested , there is someone living local to you with a garden that you could share – I’m passionate about wildlife ( think I even like wildlife more than I like people sometimes!😂) and if you lived near me in Northamptonshire you would be most welcome to share my, hog obsession, the garden and the joy of my little visitors!
I do hope you can find a solution.
Best wishes x23rd August 2019 at 10:01 am #17520
Sorry to hear about your plight. As mentioned previously without knowing all the finer details its difficult to suggest accurately a strategy.
However, you could ignore the instruction and just carry on. This will probably result in a warning letter of some description which will have contact details attached which I (and probably many others ) would be happy to respond to.
If you can’t reach an agreement with the organisation you could contact the press they are very keen on hedgehog stories. It all depends on how bullish you feel and I appreciate you may well feel at a disadvantage in this situation.
Alternatively forget the feeding regime for the moment until the dust settles but put water down in a quiet spot as this will not add fuel their argument.
If they want to see a real vermin problem visit a fast food outlet on a retail park after dark!3rd September 2019 at 4:21 pm #17774
If it’s a social landlord (I take this as meaning council) they should be allowing people to feed wildlife. I had an annual visit from my social landlord a couple of weeks ago, and they were delighted that there are hedgehogs in the area, and said if I vacate the property they will let the new tenant know (all though that won’t happen unless I die).
If it’s a social landlord, then I think you should write to a wildlife organisation and ask if you can get any advice on how to challenge your landlord – or even write to 10 downing street, (they respond to every letter) and then give the response to your landlord.
If it’s a private landlord, I doubt there is much you can do, but with social, I think you’d be able to appeal their decision providing that you put a strong case forward.
Hedgehogs are are protected species, so the council should be more lenient about tenants looking after them.
Where I live, my neighbours always ask me how the hedgehogs are, and want to know where they are nesting – but they aren’t interested in feeding them and staying up half the night to catch a viewing.
I guess if a neighbour complained, then that could be a valid reason as to why they aren’t allowing you.5th September 2019 at 10:44 am #17917
Hi Jennifer, landlords, how we love them! OK, you say you have a social landlord, not always council as some are private, but usually they are. Some were council and had to go private due to finances. This seems to me to be one of your neighbours complaining about you putting food out. The reason, I guess, is now you’re on your own your hubby’s not around to defend your kind nature. I strongly suggest you write to both of your local councillors, explaining that the Hedgehogs are a protected species, you have been feeding them for a long while and the problems you are having with housing… Neighbours… And so on. How upset you have been over this, especially as you have lost your dear husband and you feel you are being victimised. Please don’t worry you will be thrown out, you have to receive a warning letter before that. If that has no effect, go to your local paper, but please, do not be bullied. I know how upset you must be after losing your husband and you may not feel up to it to take on a fight, but a nice chat to your local councillors may go a long way to helping you. My very best wishes to you.
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