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5th July 2019 at 1:44 pm #16083
I have been involved with Hedgehog Street and the BHPS for a while now, and have always enjoyed reading the various topics that you all send in.
Having recently retired, I now want to be more involved with the whole aspect to do with hedgehogs. I live in Swanage, Dorset and would like start a local group. So if there is any like minded people in the Purbeck area who are able to be part of a group, that would be great. I have put the downloaded posters around the town, but no response yet. So If there is anyone who has formed a local group in the past, how did you go about doing it? I believe that if we can make more people aware of what’s missing in their own gardens and surrounding areas, then more action would hopefully take place to save the dwindling amount of hedgehogs that are left. Unfortunately, since moving to the area 5 years ago I have never seen a live Hedgehog, and over the last 2 years have counted at least 16 road kill victims which I have logged onto the site. Chatting to the local community, they have all said the same; they haven’t seen hedgehogs for many years, which as we all know is the same for most of the country. Thanks for reading this, and carry on the good work.5th July 2019 at 10:35 pm #16085
Hi Derek, the people who have got together to make this site with help for the likes of us, the many posters and information they have produced, I have to say, the stars aligned for these wonderful people to get together. It is so hard to get people interested in anything these days. Our residents assos has joined two others and there has been leaflet drop after leaflet drop. People only turn up when something has badly gone wrong. So don’t be too downhearted, you never know, you may meet some lovely people yet and the stars may align for you too, if not, you will still have the lovely people who run this sight and who really care for these animals to confer with. They are truly wonderful.
Regards, Annker.6th July 2019 at 10:24 am #16092
I think that’s really brilliant that you want to start a local group. Sadly, I’m not in your area. You might be lucky, like a gentleman who was recently on TV and managed to get a whole row of neighbours involved. But, as Annker said, don’t be too downhearted if you don’t, at first succeed. I think in many places it isn’t so easy and needs lots of perseverance.
I don’t know whether you are any good at doing Talks, but that might be a good idea. Even if you only find one or two hedgehog friendly people, that is good, and combined, you may be able to achieve more. Do you have a local parish newsletter, or local paper? Maybe that is something you could consider. Alternatively, local parish Councils sometimes have websites for their area. You may be able to write an article – or ask them to write an article (local newspaper). So many different angles you could explore, i.e. hedgehog highways, garden hazards, etc. You could even make it a regular thing with different things each time, if that is possible. If you have a local shop/pub, they are sometimes a good place to spread the word. Let it be known that you are interested in hedgehogs and then if they hear someone else is, they might tell you. But posters in local shops, etc., with contact details, can be good.
The fact that you have found so many poor unfortunate dead hedgehogs, must mean that they are around. So, as I see it, the main things you need to do, are to encourage more wildlife friendly gardens and link them all. If enough gardens are linked, there is less need for the hogs to cross roads to find suitable habitat. If there are hogs around and you make suitable habitat for them and easy access, they will come. Water is very important, and even if you don’t have a pond, shallow plant saucers on the ground around the garden double up as bird baths, and vital water sources for hedgehogs. That is something that is so easy for everyone to do. Even small things can make a garden more hedgehog friendly. But wildlife gardening seems to be very much to the fore at the moment, being frequently mentioned on gardening programmes and, of course, the Garden Watch citizen science thing connected to Spring Watch.
Obviously, encouraging hedgehog highways, wildlife friendly gardens, etc. would be easier and quicker to achieve with a group. But you could start with your immediate neighbours and try to spread the word that way – one garden at a time. But people do seem to become more interested if there are actually hogs to see, so I really think the number one priority is to get hogs visiting yours and your neighbours’ gardens.
Even if you only put posters up about hedgehog highways, feeding, garden hazards, etc. (lots available on BHPS site) you don’t know how many hogs could be saved as a result. Just by making people more aware of them. Alternate the posters – more likely to catch people’s eyes if there is something different from time to time.
So, even if you don’t get much response to start with – don’t give up.
I really hope you find it much easier than I’ve made it sound! It’s such a worthwhile thing to try and I wish you the very best of luck.7th July 2019 at 12:19 pm #16101
Thank you so much Annker and Nic for your kind words, help and advice. All what you both have said I will be able to go back to refer to as I progress deeper into getting my message out there.
Wanted to share some good news with you. Yesterday I noticed in our local Nationwide building society window next to the ATM that there were some posters advertising coffee mornings, knitting groups etc. So I took one of the posters in to ask if they would mind putting it in the window. An ideal spot I thought, as people waiting to use the ATM can’t help but see the poster. As it happens, when I was asking the cashier and explaining about the campaign, the branch manager (a lady) was close by and stopped what she was doing to listen. She sort of took over and said not only she would be happy to put the poster up, but said to count her in as a member of my group. I was so pleased with her response, and it showed me that when you meet like minded people, their interest is there even before you’ve asked anything. So my group is now 2, and I will be making regular trips to see her, as she said she would spread the word to the many customers.
Forgot to mention in my previous message how good it is of both of you how much you help others with various questions and problems.
Thanks again, and will let everyone know how it all goes
Derek7th July 2019 at 2:25 pm #16102
That’s really good news. Sounds like a really good new member for your group and together it will be so much easier. Made me remember that the Nationwide took over the Portman Building Society some years ago and they used to have lovely wildlife images on their promotional material.
By chance, I just checked the News (above) and found this https://www.hedgehogstreet.org/can-you-tell-one-neighbour-about-hedgehog-street/
which you might also find helpful.
P.S. Thanks for your kind words – always happy to help hogs any way I can.8th July 2019 at 12:48 pm #16110
Useful post! Every year for the last few years I have distributed hedgehog related info to my neighbours during hedgehog awareness week. I braved it last year and added my email address but sadly out of a good 100 households I just got two responses. One was a good one, a neighbour just down the road who also feeds the local hedgehogs and we are in regularly contact. And another lady emailed to ask if it was worth her getting a hedgehog box, I did reply but never heard back.
Keen to do more but need to gain much more knowledge so I am confident in talking to people. I am naturally a chatty person but knocking on someone’s door takes a lot of courage! Although I am always going round to different neighbours who have taken post in for me before, maybe that’s when I need to mention hedgehogs!?
I did see on Facebook that one person put a notice board outside her house during hedgehog awareness week with lots of info on which seemed like a great idea.10th July 2019 at 1:10 am #16118
Hi Derek, Nic & Suzynic, I’m glad Derek has found a hedgehog friend. Also Suzynic, it’s so hard getting anyone’s interest. Just thought I’d tell you my latest news. I went to my local supermarket where they have rummage boxes. I found 2 pieces of heavy metal with 2 dish shapes on each, cover in a black coating. No price on, so took to the till and asked if I could buy them. They said they had no idea what they were and put them to one side saying they must belong to something. I said I wanted them to put hedgehog food in as they were heavy so wouldn’t tip up. The lady on the till said, “oh, now you’re making me feel sorry for them aren’t you? Last week we went through her till again and when I’d paid my bill she said” oh, I’ve got something for you” and gave me the 2 pieces of metal, free. Yes, there are some very nice people around. I’m saving them for winter as pots can crack. Very best wishes to you all.10th July 2019 at 12:18 pm #16152
What a positive thread. I belong on a local community page and plucked up the courage a few months ago to start posting about hog sightings etc. I was surprised by the number of people that see them around here so now post about my newly-acquired hedgehog and I get a good response. Last night, I found 3 baby hedgehogs feeding, I was ecstatic lol … I’ve posted this morning and had a good response so the worm of an idea to start a wildlife related page attached to the community one is in my head. I would have to approach the Admin but maybe another way to reach the community?10th July 2019 at 12:39 pm #16160
Annker that’s good! Hopefully the cashier remembered you as the ‘Hedgehog Lady’ ! 🙂 I do post quite a lot on Facebook on my own newsfeed and also on our town’s news and info page, it has thousands of members and sometimes I do get a reply from someone thanking me for the useful information and it is often shared. Plus friends and family and work colleagues will often mention hedgehogs to me so I guess word is going round slowly!
EmmaP very positive thread! We need to keep this one up! 🙂 What a great idea posting hog sightings, perhaps I need to do that next, as many people haven’t seen a hedgehog in years so it would be a really positive thing to do!
Awww we had four hoglets once and that was a long time ago, they nested under my rabbit hutch where a black bag and hay had blown.
We do have a town wildlife page but it seems to have gone down and there wasn’t many members anyway. Sounds good though so good luck on that one!10th July 2019 at 4:40 pm #16170
Really good idea to have a wildlife page, EmmaP. There is so much information you could put on there about hedgehogs, alone.
Annker, Lovely story. Just make sure the bowls aren’t lead, though, if they’re really heavy.
Loads of information, here on Hedgehog Street, if anyone’s short of inspiration for something to write about. Don’t forget the ‘news’ section as well. Also on the BHPS site – loads of leaflets and posters.
So lovely to hear about people’s successes spreading the word.10th July 2019 at 11:04 pm #16176
I’ve shared another BHPS post this evening on my towns FB page and had such a lovely positive response to it! Several people saying they already do leave out food and water, plus adding on photos of their visiting hogs. One lady has three coming in 🙂 Another said her neighbour just recently put in a new fence and she asked him to leave a gap 🙂11th July 2019 at 11:39 am #16478
That’s really good news, Suzynic.11th July 2019 at 2:18 pm #16481
Well my post is still active although someone has said not to pick hedgehogs up as they are riddled with fleas – apparently her cat had a hellish few days with fleas and she blamed the hedgehog. I did say they were host specific but she still says it was the hedgehogs fault!
Someone else has said does leaving food out attract rats?
And finally an old work colleague has messaged to say that they need to cut some overgrown bushes at the weekend, where a hedgehog is living and wants to know how to do this without disturbing the hedgehog ….. my friends disturbed one recently when they were gardening and the hedgehog never came back 🙁11th July 2019 at 6:21 pm #16484
There are always a few problems to go with the good things, but don’t give up, you’re doing a good job. All we can do is politely explain – we can’t force people to believe what we say. But, the more people who know more about the hogs, the less likely it will be that people will have these outdated views.
It seems some people will never be converted. You can’t win them all, but every new person you can encourage to help the hogs is worth the trouble.
Keep up the good work!11th July 2019 at 8:14 pm #16486
Hi Nic, I asked my hubby to check the metal dish shaped plates, he says they are ferrous metal, probably powder coated, very well done. I’ve had my lesson on powder coating tonight (but don’t ask me to explain it, please) and magnetic metals! I would show a pic, only someone may say, hey, that’s what’s missing of my………. thing I bought. As for the spammers, get a life. The police do an email correspondence on scams and other info, so if anyone wants including, go on to your own police site to be included. Best wishes.
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