Sunday, 11 November 2012

What is it? #8 revealed

Were you right? The photo in Friday's 'What is it?' was taken last year when I found this little autumn orphan in my garden - a hedgehog we named Sonny. Sonny appeared by my back door just before I was heading off to work last year so I took him into the office to keep him warm and give him some food and drink.

I handed him over to a hedgehog rescue centre in Stroud soon after, where they took good care of him, feeding him milk and giving him some much needed medical treatment. Happily, he came back to my garden in the Spring, much bigger, healthy and with a female friend, to wander off into the undergrowth and, hopefully, enjoy many more years exploring gardens in the neighbourhood.

Hedgehogs are in decline - there has been over 30% drop in numbers since the 1990's - and much of this decline is thought to be the result of human activity and loss of habitat. People are increasingly digging up gardens to make driveways, using slug pellets in the garden, leaving rubbish on the ground and driving at high speeds along the roads at night - all of these things are harmful to hedgehogs. To find out more about the hazards hedgehogs face visit our Wild Hedgehogs page and explore the interactive picture.

And if you want to help hedgehogs in your garden leave out a small dish of fresh water and some crushed peanuts (the kind you would feed to birds), mealworms or even meat based cat food. Make sure there are areas of long grass, piles of leaves or just a slightly overgrown corner so that a hedgehog can find a good place to hibernate over winter.

Finally, if you fancy one of the Avon Wildlife Trust team coming to your school to give your class a free hedgehog talk and activity session in the new year then leave a comment or email Julie Doherty to find out more.
(Please note these free talks are restricted to central areas in Weston Super Mare, Bristol and Bath.)

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