The following update has been received from Shepreth Wildlife Conservation Charity.
It’s that time of year again when we can think about where and when hedgehogs will be released. We now have a waiting list for them because their plight has become regularly featured in the media. We are very keen to continue to support your project given that it has such widespread community involvement and interest. We use Glatton as a model of good practice for other communities who want to become involved in hedgehog conservation. I think we could probably do a release in late Spring/early summer and then possibly late Autumn but more likely to be about five hedgehogs each time this year not ten as before.
The late Autumn release could involve some ‘over wintering’. This would be for anyone who has a barn or outbuilding- the pen and house go indoors and the hedgehog hibernates in cold dry conditions rather than go outside when it is too late to find somewhere to hibernate such as in late November/December. Large rabbit hutches are very suitable for this too. The hedgehog is then released in the Spring in the normal way. Something to think about perhaps, and adds another level to your project.
It would be very helpful to know how well the hedgehogs did in the releases last year. Is there any way you can get a rough idea from all your recordings of how many hedgehogs were around last Autumn?
Alternatively can you let me know some numbers seen as soon as they properly emerge from hibernation which will be around the end of March. This is very difficult to be exact as it depends on temperatures and recent fluctuations have seen some out already! Please advise everyone that dry food put out now with water will be really important if hedgehogs are seen this early.
Actions for you all:
- If you were a hedgehog adopter, can you please let us know how many hedgehogs you were aware of in the Autumn in your garden.
- Please put out some dry food now with water for any hedgehogs that are starting to emerge from their winter sleep.
- If you see ant hedgehogs emerging from hibernation, please let us know (don’t forget we have the nature camera to record any activity, to request the camera please email firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Remember the best way to monitor hedgehog activity is to set up your footprint traps to monitor for hedgehog movements.