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Learning How to Help Hogs

Posted: Thursday 5th November 2015 by

Surrey Wildlife Trust's Hedgehog Conference took place on Monday in the beautiful surrounds of RHS Wisley Gardens.

 The speakers were inspiring, with a call to action on behalf of hedgehogs across Surrey and beyond.

We learnt so much about hedgehogs, here are a few key facts for those who could not make it on the day.

Hedgehogs are lactose intolerant so we should avoid giving them milk. Instead feed them cat meat (not fish flavoured!) or kitten biscuits as this offers a good supplement to their predominately insectivore diet.  Other ways to attract hedgehogs to your garden are to plant a bushy native hedge, have an open compost heap or allow some grass to grow long. 

Please be very careful when you are using strimmers or lighting bonfires that you check for hedgehogs first to avoid their injury.

Based in Leatherhead, Wildlife Aid is Surreys famous veterinary hospital and do amazing work rescuing all kinds of wild animals, including our humble hedgehogs.

Founder and CEO Simon Cowell advised that we should bring them any hedgehogs we find that weigh less than 600g, as they would not survive the winter.  Healthy hedgehogs look plump and round, whilst underweight hedgehogs are longer from head to tail than from side to side.

Hedgehog Street is a great initiative encouraging all of us to make holes for hedgehogs in our garden fences. Hedgehogs can roam up to 3 km a night and need to access our gardens for vital food and shelter. 

You can become a Hedgehog Street champion by encouraging your neighbours to do the same.  Join Hedgehog Street and receive lots of free resources to help you on your way.  We would love to hear from you if you are doing this already or planning to take up the hedgehog neighbourhood mantle!

Now you can record the wildlife you see in your garden on our new Garden Wildlife Recording Database. Recording wildlife is fun and helps us to build up a picture of how wildlife is doing locally. For example we can measure changes in hedgehog populations and work to remedy any further decline.

If anyone is interested in buying a feeding station for hedgehogs I can pass your contact details on to Chris Matcham who has had lots of success feeding the many hedgehogs who visit his garden, without the local cat population gobbling it all up!  The stations cost £25.

Dawn Fielding

SWT Wildlife Gardening Officer

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