Hedgehog Highway a Hit

Posted on May 16, 2018 | Education, News

Proof that the hedgehog highway at Oversands is working. This hedgehog is the one Susan Melia, a resident at OverSands Place, rescued last year. She saw it in her garden at the weekend after surviving the harsh winter. There is also a hedgehog feeding 2 doors down so it’s probably using the highway.

“In many ways, the dwindling hedgehog population is alerting us to a much broader problem, namely a breakdown in the ecological food chain. From 2001 to 2005, there was a 20 per cent drop in the UK hedgehog population, due to a number of factors, but in particular because there are now fewer and fewer hedges, to serve both as cover for the hedgehogs and as home to the little micro-beasties that hedgehogs feed on – slugs, worms, that sort of thing.So you can argue quite fairly that if you save the hedgehog, you are actually saving the world” said Susan.

Ways to lend a hand at this time of year:

  • Don’t leave out a bowl of milk. Yes, we all used to do it, but milk is too rich for the baby hedgehogs’ digestive system and will make them ill.
  • Do leave out a bowl of water, rather than meat – which hedgehogs love but which also attracts rats and foxes.
  • Search bonfires and compost heaps before setting them alight – hedgehogs love to go to sleep in the middle of such piles.
  • Have a rummage inside sacks of grass cuttings – another location in which hedgehogs like to hunker down. Make sure your sacks are
    hog-free before you throw them out.
  • Remove or cut up those plastic rings that hold four-packs of beer. If a baby hedgehog gets one of those round its middle, the plastic will cut into its flesh as the animal grows.
  • Don’t shy away from handling a hedgehog. Yes, they have fleas, but those fleas are host-specific, ie they cannot jump from hedgehogs to humans.
  • Call for help: if you see a hedgehog wandering around in small circles, it may be blind or have ear mites eating into its head. Either way, you should contact the British Hedgehog Preservation Society based at Dhustone near Ludlow, Shropshire (01584 890801www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk) The society can put you in touch with your nearest rescuer.