Gardening Times

IN the mid 1990s hedgehog numbers in Scotland were approximately 300,000 but in recent years they have been on the decline.

Loading Comments
Share
Print

Why?

Natural habitats for native mammals are disappearing fast throughout the UK, some mammals are becoming rare, vulnerable or even extinct and this is where you can do your bit to help them.

British hedgehogs are one of the three true hibernating mammals in the UK, (the other two being bats and the rare dormouse).

Hedgehogs get their name from living under hedges, bushes and dense vegetation and they grunt and squeal like pigs.

They go into hibernation (a process where they slow their body down and live off the fat reserves they've built up in the autumn) during winter by making a bed in a dry place using leaves and grass.

In the warmer months of March/April after several months of sleeping, they wake up thinner and hungry so a garden with short grass providing juicy worms, grubs and beetles is a welcoming site for this small, prickly creature.

Although they are insectivores they will occasionally eat frogs, baby birds, birds' egg and fruit!

If you want to leave out food, leave only cat food and water, never milk as many people believe.

This small creature will travel up to a mile per night in the spring looking for food and a mate. Their young, known as hoglets are born in May - sometimes a second litter in September which doesn't allow time for building fat reserves making surviving winter unlikely.

Did you know an average adult hedgehog has more than 5000 spines which are modified hairs as body armour to protect itself from predators like the badger? They start with just 300 soft spines to make the birthing process a little easier for mum!

They are a true gardener's friend yet endure some of the most dangerous journeys in a garden.

Believe it or not, hedgehogs are good swimmers but if they cannot get out of a fishpond with steep sides they will drown. To avoid this place a small ramp or log coming out of the water or have a shallow end.

Vegetable netting not in use lying on ground can get tangled in their spines and legs causing great discomfort and pain, so keeping garden tidy will help.

The most toxic danger is slug pellets which poison their food source.

It's a myth that wildlife will enter your home. Providing shelter and habitats for them will keep them at a safe distance. And first and foremost is your safety, so never try to pick an animal up.

Food and drink

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on Evening Times on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

167178

Have you got a story?

Contact the news desk on 0141 302 6520 or email news@eveningtimes.co.uk
Games news:

Putting the world to rights

Gail's Gab

How my view of the police has changed

Times Out

Entertainment

Lifestyle

TV Advert
Cat’s Eyes on Glasgow

Cat’s Eyes on Glasgow

Cat Cubie’s job is to find and share with you the fabulous things the city has to offer, from gigs to gastro.

Janice Bell

Janice Bell

You Couldn't Make This Up

Twin problems have put years on me.

Michelle McManus

Michelle McManus

Columnist Michelle McManus is Sussed in the City, and loves to chat about anything and everything.