Monday, 5 September 2011

Red Alert - No more hedgehogs?

Hedgehogs in Britain are on the red list of endangered species. They could disappear altogether in 10 - 15 years. Toni Bunnell estimates that the hedgehog population has decreased by 25% over the last decade. It is partly due to the use of pesticides by farmers,  along with gardeners and allotment holders.  The use of large mower, strimmers, rat poison and plastic netting on fruit cages and vegetable crops.   There are also so many sterile gardens with all weeds rooted out, gardens paved over or covered in decking. Hedges are replaced by impenetrable fences and walls......

Recently I found a baby hedgehog with a terrible wound across it body probably from a strimmer. It died shortly after I found it.  It was heartbreaking to see a a baby animal suffering such a painful death.  Hedgehogs when under threat curl up tight in a spinney ball which is a bad defence against modern machinery, and cars.

It would be so sad if this iconic creature was no longer part of our garden and countryside wildlife. We can help in their survival by creating the right habitat for hedgehogs in our own gardens and joining together with people in our street, estate or community in the Hedgehogs Street campaign:

This link to will give you information about these animals and show ways each of us could to help them.  Recently the Charity found that slug pelts that had a picture of a Hedgehog on them suggesting that it was safe to use for where  there were these animals, was in was in fact  poisonous to them.  After the Charity informed B&Q they reacted quickly and withdrew the product and went straight to the manufacturer to use their influence to change the product..

The Charity also provided evidence to McDonald’s which prompted the company to changed the lid on their McFlurry dessert!   The original containers  carelessly tossed away trapped many hedgehogs who crawled into lick up the leftover ice cream or for shelter and could not get out again.   Some were released by kindly passers by, some were found dead, and it will never be known how many were never found at all. The new lid has a smaller aperture so the customer will take the lid off to get to the ice cream. Even if the cup does get thrown to the ground with the lid attached, the hole should be too small for hedgehogs to push into.
It seems that powerful global business  can be persuaded to get  behind the campaign for the survival  of Hedgehogs.  But each of us individually can, however, help them just by providing as safe small corner of our garden and allotments as a wild life sanctuary we can attract wild life and hedgehogs,  by planting a hedge, creating a hedgehog street, building a log pile or creating a dead hedge for hedgehogs.  These simple measures would give hedgehogs a safe haven to sleeping in during the day or hibernate in over winter and safe routes to roam in.   It could bring the reward of seeing visiting or maybe resident hedgehogs. They in return will clear the ground of slugs and snails and other pest.

I hope we can join together to create safe havens for our hedgehogs. And future generations, our grandchildren and great grandchildren, will have the delight of seeing hedgehogs visiting their garden, allotment,  or  while walking in the countrysides at dusk see them ambling past.

With Reiki blessing to Hedgehogs and all living creature

Merry B