1 Sep 2011

GONE IN 15 YEARS?

Now I know not everyone shares my love of that delightful, prickly gardener's friend, the hedgehog, but please indulge me.

"Gone in 15 years, the hedgehogs that are fighting to survive ...... Garden favourite is one of 10 species at risk of vanishing from Britain"
- David Millward, The Telegraph (August 2011)

Sad but true, hedgehogs could disappear from Britain within 15 years, a study has warned. Once commonplace, they are among 10 indigenous species(including the cuckoo and the red squirrel) to have suffered the most dramatic decline over the past century.

The reasons why?

According to Dr Bunnell who runs a hedgehog sanctuary near York, there are a number of reasons ........
  • Pesticides have eliminated  much of their food such as caterpillars and beetles.
  • A reduction in habitat which has seen the mammal move into residential areas where they face the problems of rat poison, the strimming and mowing of lawns and garden ponds etc.
  • Garden fencing/walls. Used to being able to go from one garden to another in search of food because of fencing/walls they can't do this anymore.
  • Motorists - over 50,000 hedgehogs a year are run over by cars, lorries etc.
Not the only dangers though, in the latest edition of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS)magazine, the following are also sited as a danger........
  • Broken glass
  • Tins
  • Rubber bands
  • Plastic bags
  • Four/six pack rings commonly found around drink cans
  • Yoghurt pots
  • Plastic cups
  • String.
Notice what they all have in common?

Yes, all of these problems are caused by ........

MAN

So how can we help?

Well .........

  • How about leaving a patch of garden to grow wild? This will not only be appreciated by our prickly pals but also by many other creatures.
  • A nesting box can be acquired fairly cheaply.
  • Provide food and water. Tinned cat/dog food and water please. NO bread and milk.
  • Use wildlife friendly slug pellets.
  • Beware when gardening, bonfires are a particular hazard and should always be checked before they are lit.
  • Escape netting should be placed at pond sides which enables the hedgehog to climb out. Make sure this netting is of such a size that a head cannot become stuck causing strangulation.
  • Be road aware. Special alerts are available - ultrasonic, wind activated whistles they deter animals from the roadway.
  • Discard of litter properly.
  • Carefully break down plastic pots and cups.
  • Crush tins.
  • Cut four/six pack rings and rubber bands and ask your postman/woman not to discard their red rubber bands by leaving them lying on the ground.
  • OR how about raising money for the BHPS? This can be done in a number of ways including the collecting of used postage stamps/old coin etc, donating online, buying goods from the 'hogologue' which has a wonderful selection of hoggy goods, and using 'bay for charity' as a means of selling unwanted goods whilst raising funds for the charity. All methods can be found on the BHPS website as detailed below.
For further reading:- To see the full article by David Millward click HERE, to visit the BHP website click HERE AND for further hedgehoggy reading see 'Sites I Frequent' on my blog sidebar.

Oh and one last thing if you are on FaceBook how about becoming a friend of BHPS? Simply type in 'British Hedgehog Preservation Society' and away you go.

12 comments:

Betty Manousos@ Cut and Dry said...

that is so sad.

great and rational list!

it's about time for all of us to "wake up" and protect and take care of our Earth.

thanks for helping to raise awareness about that vital matter...species and genetic diversity within species loss

additionally, this could have a direct effect on humans.


betty xx

Kelly said...

Awwww....this is sad.

I try to do my share of taking care of the environment. I know a lot of folks hate hunters, but most all hunting groups do a great deal to protect and take care of the environment.

I know how much you love hedgehogs so I can understand that this is close to your heart.

A said...

Great list. Thanks. I don't believe humans think long term impact of development.

anilkurup said...

That was a wonderful idea, to post on this little creature.
Yes existence is being threatened by man, and his wayward life style . In fact mans ways threaten man too,

I remember when we found a hedge hog being cornered by our dogs. We took it into the enclosure garden and fed it for a couple of days. It was always anxious and looking for means to get away. I guess the third day we took it far left it in the bush.

Rabbits too are being wiped out in the wild and the country side.

Dorte H said...

Our hedgehogs around the vicarage are quite well, fortunately.
Our secret: have a million slugs for them in your garden.

I must admit I have killed one or two in my car in dark nights - but never on purpose. I only kill people on purpose. ;)

Heather said...

i had no idea that hedgehogs were under such stress. I don't think tht we have them in the wild here in Canada. Thanks for this valuable information.

NRIGirl said...

That was an informative post on hedgedogs.

Sorry I haven't been very fond of them. But hereafter I will look at them from a different perspective...

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Oh I'm so with you. Our black squirrel is having problems but I have seen them in and around some people's property in the mountains nearby. So glad that some people care! :)

chitra said...

i don't think hedgehogs are in our country except in zoological parks.But you have done a wonderful job by listing out suggestions which would help save their lives.

kavita said...

I agree with you on this .A little sensitivity and thoughtfulness is much needed from our side .A great list of suggestions.

Short Poems said...

Wonderful post!

Jenners said...

So many animals are in danger because of Man. Ugh. It makes my heart sad. And we saw a hedgehog at the zoo recently … adorable!!!