Tonight we were delighted to have Chrissy Russell from Eastleigh Hedgehog Rescue talk to us about her work with ingured hedgehogs.
Chrissy started by talking to us generally about the life of a hedgehog; starting from how they are born without prickles (and how quickly they come through!) to the many miles that they walk in an evening. Until tonight we had no idea that hedgehogs could swim!
We were all gobsmacked to hear just how much the hedgehog population has declined in the UK from around 35 million in the 1950s to just 0.5 million today! The most major decline has been between 2001 and 2011. Clearly there is a need for people to help this threatened species and Chrissy gave us a list of ways in which we can all help:
- plant a wild flower corner
- make ponds safe by providing a ramp so that they can get out again
- make a hole in fences to allow for a hedgehog highway through the garden
- remove litter and make rubbish safe before throwing it away e.g. crushing the opening of tin cans
- put out food and water (cat or dog food is good but bread, milk and mealworms must be avoided!)
- stop using chemicals in the garden especially slug pellets
- build a log pile or hedgehog house
- check areas before strimming
- check bonfires before lighting
- register with Hedgehog Street to become a hedgehog champion and find more information
Finally Chrissy finished by introducing us to some of the adorable hedgehogs that have been rescued and are making a full recovery thanks to the hard work of Eastleigh Hedgehog Rescue.
Thank you Chrissy for a lovely Zoom evening!