Have you recently heard a strange noise coming from outside? At about 10pm last night, we heard persistent grunting, grating, snuffly noises coming from our patio. Was someone sawing wood? I opened the window to see what it was.
Peering through the darkness, I saw two slightly different sized blobs circling each other. As my eyes got accustomed to the dark, I saw they were two hedgehogs! We tried to work out what their noise sounded like. Nathalie suggested carrots being grated, I thought someone unfit running up a steep hill. Mix the two and I think you have it!
We needn’t have rushed to look. The hedgehogs kept at their grunting and circling for at least 90 minutes – possibly longer as we went to bed! That’s a lot of carrots grated and hills run up! Just shows we don’t always know what is going on outside our back doors… We hope this means we will have baby hoglets – yes that’s what they are called – in a month or so. As hedgehogs travel 1-2 miles a night, this is not guaranteed.
I have tried to encourage hedgehogs in the garden. If you haven’t already done so, make some piles of logs for insects, and heaps of leaves for cover. There is lots of information about how to encourage and make your garden safe for hedgehogs on the internet. The British Hedgehog Preservation Society, Tiggywinkles wildlife hospital and the RSPCA all have excellent advice and information, including how to build a simple hedgehog home. These can also be bought – a friend of mine was given one for her birthday and to her delight this was used in the first year.
When we had a new fence put up by the fabulous Prospects Trust, based at Snakehall Farm, Reach, we cut a hole in the bottom so that hedgehogs could still travel between our and the next door’s garden and onwards… If your garden fences block hedgehogs from roaming, maybe you could consider cutting some openings.
Next how about decorating it? You could use chalk as I have – though paint would be great if you are braver!
While you have the chalks out, why not have a bit more fun? I found doing this very therapeutic…
NB: Costcutters and Tina’s have packets of chalk for sale. Good luck!
And don’t forget these next few weeks to pop your head out of doors in the evenings. You may be lucky and hear grunting…
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