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The Gardener’s friend

Having rescued a petrified hedgehog from the idiotic dog from next door trying to bite it, prickles and all, I decided how to best treat my little hero (or heroine I couldn’t tell). Fortunately R&R in a quiet nest of leaves with a dish of cat treats alongside soon had the hedgehog on its feet again, instead of curled in a trembling ball.

 I was delighted to actually see one since their numbers have declined dramatically. They now seek refuge in our gardens, eating slugs, beetles and caterpillars. They are also partial to dropped fruit, frogs, eggs and carrion. As my garden is surrounded by stone walls, I can’t cut a hedgehog highway in a fence, but they evidently find a way through.

I garden organically so do not use pesticides nor slug pellets, the pests and predators seem to balance out. I have rough patches too so need to ‘look before I sweep’ or start strimming. Piles of leaves create a snug nest, enticing to a slumbering hedgehog or you can build (or buy) a luxury pad for your visitor.

If you have a pond then a ramp or stone ledge will enable a hedgehog taking the plunge to get out if it falls in. A shallow dish of fresh water (NOT MILK) will tempt them away from perilous edges. Meat based dog or cat food will supplement their diet as they munch their way around your property, hoovering up those slugs and beetles.



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