Watlington Hedgehog Highway Scheme

At the Green Plan Art Trail on August Bank Holiday weekend, WCAG launched a Hedgehog Highway Scheme – a project to try and get as many people in Watlington to put small holes in their garden fences, walls and/or gates to allow hedgehogs to pass through to find food, shelter and stay off our busy roads. You only need a hole 13cm in diameter (the size of a CD/DVD). Hedgehogs are pretty agile, so they can get down ramps and steps too. See below for some ingenious ideas. You can also go to www.hedgehogstreet.org for more information, and sign up to become a Hedgehog Champion.


We are hoping to get as many of you to sign up to our scheme, pledge to put in a hedgehog hole and hopefully once you’ve made one to map it on the Hedgehog Street Big Hedgehog Map, so we can see how extensive our Hedgehog Highway is! Can we beat Kidlington?!


If you’re interested in getting involved, send a text to Andrea on 07443 472659 to be added to the Whatsapp group. There won’t be excessive communications sent on this group, but it is hoped any sightings, wildlife camera footage, top tips for hedgehogs can be shared.


There is also an excellent Facebook group called Hedgehog Highways set up by author and conservationist Hugh Warwick that you can join and get some excellent advice on anything relating to our prickly friends.


Top Tips for Helping Hedgehogs in Winter:


Hedgehogs usually hibernate from late December/early January, so they are now busy looking for food to make sure they put on enough weight to survive the winter. This puts them at risk from cars on the roads with the darker evenings.


DO

1. Do drive carefully at night, particularly on quiet roads.

2. Do put out some food and fresh drinking water in your garden each day at dusk.

3. Do consider putting a hedgehog house, dead wood/leaf/log pile in a quiet part of your garden.

4. Do think about leaving a small patch of your garden unmowed/wild to encourage the right insects that hedgehogs feed on.

5. Do watch out for any injured hedgehogs, or ones smaller than 600g after early December – they will need to be taken to Tiggywinkles (01844 292292).


DON’T

1. Don’t put out milk for them – this makes them very ill

2. Don’t pick up fit, uninjured hedgehogs (unless underweight)

3. Don’t light a bonfire before checking for hedgehogs inside it.

4. Don’t fork over compost heaps in case a hedgehog is living in it

5. Don’t use slug pellets or other chemicals on your garden

6. Don’t spray hedgehogs with dog/cat flea spray (their fleas are species specific and don’t jump to you or your pets).

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