Hedgehog homes and hibernation
The vibrant autumn colours are here and our friendly garden hedgehogs are busy shuffling round our gardens gorging on slugs and snails ready for their long winter hibernation. As the weather turns colder and natural food sources diminish they will seek out a quiet area of garden to create a warm nest for the duration of the winter months. With the help of a wildlife specialist, such as CJ Wildlife, you can assist the hedgehogs in their preparation by supplying supplementary food, feeding houses and hibernation boxes.
Typically hedgehogs hibernate between November and March but this is dependent on many things including the weather. If it stays mild they may remain active throughout November and likewise if it warms up in February they may venture out early so it’s worth keeping an eye open so you can offer them food if you see them. A specialist food mix, such as CJ Wildlife Hedgehog Delicacy, is ideal as it has a good balance of nutrition and don’t forget a supply of fresh water too.
With the approach of November 5th and the need to dispose of seasonal garden waste such as hedge cuttings and leaves, bonfires are a common sight in autumn. However, with them comes an additional threat to our hedgehogs, who will see a pile of twigs and leaves as a welcome haven from the elements. The best advice is to try and keep the dry material off the ground so you can check underneath or even move the collected material a short distance before burning it. If you do come across a ball of leaves you’ve probably found a hedgehog’s winter nest, so put the nest and some of the material into a quiet area of garden where it will be undisturbed and think about how many slugs your prickly friend will eat in the spring!
Wildlife expert, Martin George, from CJ Wildlife offered this advice for winter hedgehog care, “If you don’t have an abundance of logs and sticks in your garden consider buying a hedgehog box. If you add a small pile of fallen leaves close to the entrance of the nest box this should increase the chances of getting a tenant for the winter and the box will get used year after year. Don’t forget if you are feeding the hedgehogs in your garden use a good quality food, ideally a special mix designed for hedgehogs, and please don’t put out milk and bread because this is likely to make them ill.” For more information on products and advice to help the hedgehogs in your garden call CJ Wildlife on Freephone 0800 731 2820 or visit www.birdfood.co.uk and request a free copy of CJ Wildlife Handbook of Garden Wildlife.