Menu
 
 
 
 

Highland Perthshire Blogs

It's hard not to be passionate about Highland Perthshire as a place to live in as well as visit. Hopefully these blogs prove the point!

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Team Blogs
    Team Blogs Find your favorite team blogs here.
  • Login
    Login Login form

Hedgehog Awareness Week

Posted by on in Highland Perthshire
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Hits: 2412
  • Subscribe to this entry
  • Print

This week marks National Hedgehog Week, designed to raise awareness of these beautiful but endangered animals and to inspire us with ideas of how we can help them in our area.

The west-European hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus is one of the 17 hedgehog species found around the world and is unmistakable as the UK’s only spiny mammal. Their specialised coat is made up of approximately 5000 spines (also known as quills) which the hedgehogs use to protect themselves from predators by curling up into a tight, prickly ball when scared.  These spines are incredibly strong and will grow to about an inch long, with each spine lasting about a year before it falls out and is replaced by a new one.

As their name suggests, they are often found underneath hedgerows which provide a good supply of invertebrates on which they feed, and create ideal nest sites offering protection from predators. Hedgehogs are also commonly found in urban and suburban areas, with gardens now providing them with food as well as shelter. Because of this, these urban sites have become a very important stronghold for these animals in recent years.

A young hedgehog rescued on the reserve last year © Scottish Wildlife Trust

A young hedgehog rescued on the reserve last year © Scottish Wildlife Trust

Despite being one of the UK’s most distinctive and best-loved creatures, hedgehog numbers have been decreasing so rapidly over the last 70 years that they have featured on a recent list of the 10 most endangered species in the UK. However there are many simple things that you can do to help hedgehogs in your garden;

Break down the barriers

Opening up your garden is the simplest yet possibly most effective way to help your hogs! By cutting 13cm x 13cm holes in your fence at ground level or digging tunnels underneath fence panels, they will be too small for pets but perfect for hedgehogs to pass through.

Provide extra food

Specific hedgehog food mixes are available to buy in shops, but supplementing their diet with meat-based cat/dog food, mealworms or raisins will be appreciated!

Avoid using chemicals

Applying weed killer to your lawn reduces the numbers of earthworms, one of their main food sources. Slug pellets and pesticides can also make hedgehogs very ill or even kill them.

Offer a nesting place

Whilst there is a fabulous range of ready-made ‘hog houses’ to buy, making your own woodpile is much more fun and also more beneficial for the hogs. As well as providing a sheltered spot for a nest it also encourages more insects – a local supply of food for them.

For more information about hedgehogs and how you can help them, check out the British Hedgehog Preservation Society at www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk

Charlotte,

Perthshire Ranger.

Original author: charlotteranger
Rate this blog entry:
0