Christmas Countdown #3 – a hedgehog-friendly town

It’s Day #3 of our Christmas Countdown and today’s photo is from Tina Raddenbury who created these lovely handmade hedgepigs and won 3rd place in the ‘Art’ category of our Ross in Lockdown photo competition.

With winter well on its way, it’s important that we keep our wildlife safe, particularly our hedgehogs, the ancient emblem of Ross-on-Wye. These prickly little creatures usually hibernate between November and mid March and they must have enough fat reserves to survive this period, so making hedgehog homes in your garden and providing food will help them enormously.

The team at Ross-on-Wye Hedgehog Care & Advice have outlined some simple things that you can do to help:

Mind the gap! Can a hedgehog get in and out of your garden?  Hedgehogs travel around 1km a night in search of food, shelter and, in spring and summertime, a mate. To help them do so, make a hole in or under your fence that’s around 12cm2 is ideal.

Embrace mess.  For those of you less inclined to get your gardening gloves on in the winter, you’ll be pleased to know that a garden that is too tidy will not hold much appeal for a hedgehog.  Ensure that there is a plenty of cover where they can shelter, make a nest and find food.

Food for thought.  In the wild, hedgehogs like to eat beetles, earthworms, caterpillars, grubs, earwigs, millipedes, slugs and snails. By growing plants and creating habitats that support these creatures, you’ll be encouraging hedgehogs too.

Wood you mind?  A pile of leaves, garden clippings or logs will make a safe place for a hedgehog to rest during the day and a cosy nest for the winter months.

For further information on hedgehogs and how you can help them, visit http://www.playross.com/ross-hedgehog-care.html. The Ross-on-Wye Community Development Trust will be discussing this topic, amongst others, in its next Facebook live video event on Thursday 10 December at 6pm – join in by logging onto www.facebook.com/rosscdt or even better, ‘Like’ our Facebook page to ensure you receive all upcoming event updates.

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