Saturday, May 06, 2017

Watch out for hedgehogs!

Until today I had not seen a live hedgehog for a quarter of a century. They used to be much more common - one lived in the garden of the house where I grew up as a child and I remember leaving out a saucer of milk on occasion for it - but the combination of how we manage gardens and casualties to traffic has taken it's toll on them.

Then this afternoon I had to carefully avoid a hedgehog when driving on the A595 Loop Road in Whitehaven.

I do hope the little fellow made it safely to the verge he was heading for.


Anonymous said...

Is that Tory policy to feed hedgehogs milk?

Chris Whiteside said...

No, to the best of my knowledge it's not anybody's policy today, but it was a very common practice fifty years ago or so to encourage small children to feed garden animals such as hedgehogs by leaving out a saucer of milk for them.

I understand that wildlife experts now advise that if you want to provide food or drink to garden animals it is better to make sure that there is a source of water rather than milk, and as far as food is concerned, A better choice for hedgehogs is tinned dog or cat food (not fishbased), minced meat, chopped liver, or scrambled egg.

Dog biscuits, bran and peanuts can be used to supplement their diet and to provide roughage, but sweet foods such as chocolate and fruit should be avoided as they are bad for their teeth.

Special hedgehog food is available. The most popular brand is called Spike and is available from Attenborough Nature Centre and the Idle Valley Rural Learning Centre.