9 May 2013


A positively balmy 12 degrees Celsius outside, it seems like Spring may finally have sprung here in the north east of England which means that many critters, including the hedgehog, have once again been stretching their legs and poking their noses out of their wintry abodes just in time for the BRITISH HEDGEHOG PRESERVATION SOCIETY (BHPS) .......

Hedgehog Awareness Week 2013

which this year hi-lights these simple steps on how gardeners can help our prickly pals .....

(Please feel free to copy and share image OR posters are available via the BHPS website )

  • Ensure there is access into the garden (it only takes a 5 inch square gap)

  • Check area before mowing or strimming
  • Move rubbish to a new site before burning it
  • Ensure any netting is at a safe height
  • Check compost heaps before digging the fork in
  • Reduce or better still stop the amount of pesticides and poisons used
  • Cover drains and deep holes
  • Ensure there is an easy route out of ponds

And in addition .....
  • If you are planning a new garden why not consider planting hedges instead of erecting a fence or walls
  • Dedicate a corner of your garden to the hedgehog. This should be left wild with piles of leaves and organic debris for shelter
  • Consider installing a 'hedgehog house' like which can be used as hibernation sites during the winter and nesting boxes during the summer. The above 25 homes were built by Hedgehog Champions taking part in HEDGEHOG STREET.   
Not that gardeners are the only danger.

With surveys showing that hedgehogs are in the top four of animals to be killed on our roads, some 12,000 to 15,000 are believed to die this way each year, motor vehicles are a major threat as this poem by Pam Ayres demonstrates.

I am very fond of hedgehogs
Which makes me want to say,
That I am struck with wonder,
How there's any left today,
For each mornning as I travel
And no short distance that,
All I see are hedgehogs,
Squashed. And dead. And flat.

Now, hedgehogs are not clever,
No, hedgehogs are quite dim,
And when he sees your headlamps,
Well, it dont occur to him,
That the very wisest thing to do
Is up and run away,
No! he curls up in a stupid ball,
And no doubt starts to prey.

Well, motor cars do travel
At a most alarming rate,
And by lunch time you sees him,
It is very much too late,
And thus he gets a-squasho'd,
Unrecorded but for me,
With me pen and paper,
Sittin' in a tree.

It is statistically proven,
In chapter and in verse,
That in a car and hedgehog fight,
The hedgehog comes off worse,
When whistlin' down your prop shaft,
And bouncin' down your diff,
His coat of nice brown prickles
Is not effect-iff.

A hedgehog cannot make you laugh,
Whistle, dance or sing,
And he ain't much to look at,
And he dont make anything,
and in amongst his prickles,
There's fleas and bugs and that,
But there aint no need to leave him,
Squashred. And dead. And flat.

Oh spare a thought for hedgehogs,
Spare a thought for me,
Spare a thought for heedgehogs,
As you drink your cup of tea,
Spare a thought for heedgehogs,
Hoverin' on the brinkt,
Spare a thought for hedgehogs,
Lest they become extinct.

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Gina R said...

Glad to hear spring as sprung....same here. Warmer weather today. LOVE seeing your posts on the little hedgehogs. They are so cute...and I love the little housing ideas. ^_^

Kelly said...

I've learned so much about hedgehogs since becoming your friend, Tracy. They're such cute little animals!

I would say the number one roadkill in my area is possums, followed by armadillos and skunks.

carol said...

They are so cute.

Number one animal killed on our roads is probably deer.

chitra said...

PW, how much you love thiose hedgehogs. Nice to see you writing like this.
We do not have hedgehogs here.Good for them.:)

Suko said...

They really are adorable! I will "spare a thought for hedgehogs".

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Aw... we don't have hedgehogs here unless they are pets. They are so cute.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

We have a lot of deer that are killed around here actually. Super sad. Poor hedgehogs though; loved the poem.

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

Yeah for spring! Glad you are getting some good weather.

I love the info about the hedgehogs. I learned so much. I think the tips are great. I don't think I have ever seen a hedgehog in person.

Blond Duck said...

I want a hedgehog!

Nina Gray said...

you really love hedgehogs, don't you?

Naida said...

Happy Hedgehog Awareness Week! I've never seen one, but they sure are cute. Thanks for the tips.

betty manousos said...

i love hedgehogs. they are so cute!

loved the poem.