Thursday, 5 May 2011

Hedgehog Awareness Week

The photo of the hedgehog dropping below may not be pretty but it’s my contribution for Hedgehog Awareness Week which The British Hedgehog Preservation Society is currently running until May 7th.




If you’d like to know if hedgehogs visit your garden and spot a dropping like the one above on a path, your lawn or in your borders then you have clear evidence that they pass through your garden.

I might suggest you put out food where you spot the droppings as I did with the sultanas but during dry spells I’d take a guess that hedgehogs will enjoy a dish with water even more. Our dry weather is due to break tomorrow so tonight I have food outside my feeding station to tempt passing hedghogs back to that area.




However, as yet, despite putting my night cam in a variety of positions in my garden I have yet to see any sightings of hedgehogs this year. I was thrilled to see the dropping above at the weekend! Now I know at least one has recently been here :-)

Sitting in the garden at dusk, especially on a warm dry evening, can be a good time to listen out for a hedgehog rustling through undergrowth and plants. You could easily hear a hedgehog eating too – they are noisy eaters.

I sat out on my arbour last night at the location of the dropping listening but alas nothing. Bats circling around the garden entertained me as I waited. I have noticed with hedgehog visits in previous years that they often follow a regular route so that’s something to look out for in your garden too.

Searching for info on the Hedgehog Awareness Week I stumbled across a BBC page with a few short videos. Of course I had to watch and share them :-) I loved the illustrated way they show how the hogs go around gardens.

Apologies, to visitors outside the UK if you are unable to view them. You can see a video with a hedgehog in an evening stroll around my garden in this past post.

The videos shown below are presented by Chris Packham and are part of a short BBC TWO Series The Animal’s Guide to Britain which examine Britain from an animal's point of view. Each week Chris encounters an elite group of five animals each of which senses the world in a very different way.

Tonight, BBC TWO 8pm, it is the turn of Woodland Animals and the Goshawk will feature with yours truely... the hedgehog. I’m guessing the footage below will feature in the programme. I didn’t realise when I posted this in the wee small hours last night that I hadn’t missed this programme. I’m delighted to update this post :-)

Next week (May 12th, 8pm) Chris looks at the grey seal and the Manx shearwater. I’m sure they will be interesting programmes too –just programmed them both record! I’m sorry I missed previous episodes now. I’d absolutely recommend this series to be a must watch :-D












My garden is in a tidy-up state at the moment so perhaps not favoured by hedgehogs in some areas. However, my ground covering plantings in other areas more than make up for it.

Tomorrow, the expected rain is going to be most welcome. Yes, the plants really could do with some refreshment. Mm… but the weeds that I’ve not pulled out will head skyward. Not so good.

My evening and weekend gardening, that has kept me away from the blogging world, has been more one of maintenance and repairs. With fine weather for so long, we were quick of the mark this year and have made good progress.

However, the race has been on the get the fence repairs done before Broom came into flower, Ferns unfurled and the plants put on too much growth… especially the Gunnera.

My Gunnera border has been well trampled but one side of our fence is looking fresh and new again at last. I’ve very thoroughly been removing one particular plant that became too invasive here.





Fresh gravel topped up the paths and the trellis is ¾ the way through its fresh staining too. I like the warm, dark brown with the shady woodland plants. There’s been much up and down ladders and I didn’t appreciate the attention from wasps to my paint pot at one point.

Ah… not getting out into the garden for a few days because it’s raining is not a bad prospect right now. We’ll get time to step back before we complete the last stages. Lol… then of course, it will be on to the next job… replacing some paving.

I’m delighted with the way the Gunnera border is taking shape and looking forward to seeing how it will be in full summer too. Although small, it’s my favourite area at the moment. I'll share it soon :-)

Although, I haven’t had the energy to blog late in the evening (as I usually do) last week I uploaded all but the last photo below. Now the alliums are opening, the tulips are out (loving Princes Irene, Carnival de Nice & pot of Queen of the Night/Black Parrot).

Meconopsis are still in different stages of growth and Clematis Miss Bateman has the most flower buds ever! The tiny vibrant orange Geum flowers are opening now too, Primroses are still in flower in the shade and the rhododendrons are looking great.














Last week the open delicate pink flushed flower above was the stunning cerise pink flower bud in the photos above it. Hard to believe :-)

This is my definitely my favourite time of the year for the garden… now all we need is hedgehog sightings. What are you enjoying in your garden just now?


This post was written by Shirley for http://blog.shirlsgardenwatch.co.uk/

16 comments:

gardenwalkgardentalk.com said...

I so wanted to see the hedgehogs, but the videos would not work. They are such cute and seemingly peaceful creatures.

Green Lane Allotments said...

WE had a camera out the other night and a few hedgehogs or the same one lots came for food. Then we saw a small one eraly evening which looked too small to have survived winter which it no doubt did

shirl said...

Hello again, just wondering where the predicted rain is. It’s been sunny a dry this morning so far :-)

Gardenwalk, sorry you couldn’t view the BBC footage. I was a tad tired last night posting as late as I did. I should have given a link to one of my videos. Sorted now, hope you enjoy my Hedgehog movie :-)

Green Lane, brilliant news… both with a camera in your garden and hedgehog sightings! Just to say this morning (with my eyes just peeping open) I’ve been browsing the links to the BBC videos and I see that the hedgehog footage shown here should be appearing tonight! Looking forward to seeing the whole programme now which also includes the Goshawk. I’ve update my post now :-D

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I do believe we have had all your rain this spring Shirley. We (myDB) got busy early this spring and got new mulch down just in time for the spring rains that have lasted and lasted. One corner of my garden is afloat. UGH.. I wish we had hedgehogs in our garden. How exciting that would be. I am glad you have "evidence" of their visit. Your fence looks so pretty with its dark stain. The broom should really pop against it. All of your flowers look so pretty.

ShySongbird said...

Hi again Shirl :) Sadly, I have seen no evidence of Hedgehogs in my garden for a few years now. They used to be regular visitors. Also we don't see Bats swirling around the eaves of the house as we once did regularly at the end of the day.

Your flowers all look very colourful and it sounds like you have been putting a lot of hard work into the garden recently.

Thank you for drawing attention to the Chris Packham series which had completely escaped me! I will have to catch up with the earlier episodes on BBC iplayer or perhaps on a repeat.

Enjoy the rest of the week Shirl and have a lovely weekend :)

I have left a very late comment on your previous post.

kirstallcreatures said...

Having woken in the early hours of the morning a couple of weeks ago I was delighted to spot a hedgehog running down the path between the small back gardens of the four terraced houses on our street. A surprising delight to see one amongst the small gardens in a relatively urban environment. Thanks for providing such a wealth of hedgehog info. Linda

Christina said...

We do have hedgehogs here in Italy but I've never seen one in the garden but there was something similar to the dropping yesterday so maybe I do have a visitor and don't know it.
Christina

Orchids and Nature said...

I've also found Hedgehog droppings on two mornings this week but no sightings as yet.

Gerry Snape said...

Spits and spots of rain here today but it's dried up now...we need more than that. Wonderful photos of the garden!

shirl said...

Great to hear some more hedgehog droppings have been sighted :-)

Lisa, oh dear… sorry to hear you’ve been waterlogged in SW Indiana. I do remember your posts on your mulch work etc. ages ago. I was well impressed you had so much done so early on in the season :-) I’m sure you would love seeing hogs if you could. Thanks, fences get stained in all colours here but this red tinged brown I like and the plants do look particularly well with it in my back garden but it’s also a good neutral background to the sun lovers on the other side too. Thanks, I’m enjoying the flowers at the moment :-D

Hello Jan, sorry to hear that hedgehogs haven’t been spotted with you for a while - Bats too :-( It’s Pipistrelles that are here. They dive up and down our hedge to feed on insects and circle around the corner where two edges meet. Thanks, garden plants are looking well just now. I love the selection I have :-) Hope you enjoyed the programme tonight. I did. Thanks, enjoy your weekend too :-D

Hello Linda, thanks for sharing your hedgehog sighting story. It must have been fun watching it. Glad you enjoyed the info too. Just to say, I’ve had a look at your blog and plan to return very soon. You’ve some wonderful photos. I love all your butterfly sightings especially of the varieties I haven’t seen :-D

Christina, great to hear you have hedgehogs in Italy ;-) I might have guessed it would have been too warm for them with you. Oooo… hope it was a dropping you saw. Perhaps you might get a sighting in your garden yet especially when you have so many plants in it. BTW your garden is looking great at the moment. I’ll be over to take a longer look later :-D

David, once again… I’m thrilled (for the Hedgehogs) that you too have spotted Hedgehog droppings in your garden this week. Fingers crossed you’ll get a sighting at some point :-D

Gerry, Ooo… hopefully the rain is with you now and overnight to refresh your garden. We had spits and spots during the day too but there’s a decent amount falling tonight. Looking forward to the fresh greens (colours) in the garden tomorrow morning. Thanks, I do take many photos of the garden and plants in various stages but when time passes and I don’t post then they often get missed :-)

Janet said...

I wish we had hedgehogs in the garden They might make a small dent in the large population of slugs.
We grew up with one in our garden in Edinburgh. We used to put out bread and milk - absolutely the wrong thing to give hedgehogs. It lived for many years in spite of this.

Janet/Plantaliscious said...

We've not heard - or seen - hedgehogs in the garden this year at all, or seen any bats yet, and all the ladybirds seem to have disappeared too. Add to that the fact that none of the tadpoles seem to have survived, and its not proving to be a very wildlife rich Spring so far! Love all your buds and flowers, it really is a wonderful time of year. Look forward to seeing the gunnera border.

Anna said...

Thanks for the tips about the hedgehogs Shirl. Have not seen many here over the years so always great excitement when we do. Hope that you have had some of the much wanted wet stuff :)

shirl said...

Hello again. Hoping everyone has had enough rain for their gardens :-)

Janet, well, you never know… you just might have them! Great to hear you saw hedgehogs in the city of Edinburgh. Yes, as you say bread and milk not good for hedgehogs. I never knew that either but now I know milk can give hedgehogs diarrhoea. Good to hear yours had adapted to its diet :-)

Janet/Plant.. , oooo… here’s hoping you get to see and hear a bit of wildlife in your garden very soon :-) Thanks, I’m loving the flowers at the moment. Looking forward to a break in the weather so I can finish the Gunnera border. Looking forward to sharing it too :-)

Anna, your’e welcome :-) I fully understand your excitement. We haven’t had many sightings this year and I’m looking forward to seeing one. Yes, we got some wet stuff ;-) Hope you are having/had a good time at Malvern :-)

Juliet said...

I am glad I'm not the only person who's thrilled to find hedgehog poo in the garden! I wrote my last blog post (also mentioning hedgehog poo and Chris Packham) before I saw this one (sorry, I'm playing catch-up again). I enjoyed the Chris Packham series too.

shirl said...

Juliet, what are we like?