Wednesday 21 February 2024
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Young girl from Keyworth delighted to have visits from hedgehogs – she wrote a note to them!

In fact Mabel and her family had experienced a week of excitement after seeing a mum and 4 hoglets move to a new spot in their garden hedgerow.

Father Steve, took a  remarkable photo of the group showing an unusual daylight manoeuvre.

His photo has been liked by more than 1.1k people on the national Hedgehog Highways Facebook page.

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With hedgehogs being nocturnal, normally seeing them out in the day is not a good sign, but there are exceptions, like new mums.

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This time it was not a rescue situation as all members of the family were ‘moving with purpose.’

Instead it was probably a move to a new spot due to any manner of disturbance, or to get cool.

Since then, the Keyworth household has wanted to make sure they are providing all they can in the garden, to share the space with nature and make a supportive hedgehog environment.

The evidence of visiting hedgehogs which prompted the note, was all in the feed bowl.

Local volunteer group, Wild Things Keyworth provided a feed station and took overnight trail cam footage for the family.

WTK Founder, Jennifer Manning-Ohren said: “The experience for this young girl is fabulous to see and will hopefully last a lifetime.”

“The note and picture of the hedgehogs is absolutely heart melting.” She said.

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“More families can get just as excited about our wonderful wild spiny friends, it’s just a case of deciding to and at that point we can help.”

She continued: “Last year we opened up a number of gaps a few doors down from the property to give better access for hogs to help them feed and meet mates.”

“We are therefore absolutely delighted to see a family of hoglets here at this spot and so are the human family.”

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Wild Things Keyworth has now opened over 80 gaps for the red listed wild British hedgehog in Keyworth, and are trying to lead the way locally in reversing their fortunes.

They were helped to get going by securing funding from Severn Trent on their Boost for Biodiversity scheme.

The gaps created are being logged on the national database, The Big Hedgehog Map.

WTK make short films, showing the improvement for nature.

The gaps are found by hedgehogs sometimes within hours of creating them, they say.

Their work has been noted by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and last year they were winners of the Celebrating Rushcliffe Awards Environmental Group or Project of the year.

Wild Things Keyworth call the gaps ‘Lifelines for Hedgehogs’ because they give hedgehogs options to pass from garden to garden without necessarily needing to cross dangerous roads. Their work feeds into the national aims of the BHPS, the PTES and Hedgehog Street.

Gaps of 13x13cms are suggested through or under fences, walls and gates to accommodate all size hog as per the BHPS recommendation.

Jennifer continued: “We are happy to do garden visits to talk through access options and retrofit gaps in existing fences in Keyworth.”

“In the long term we’d love to see similar volunteer groups to ourselves setting up in local villages as a small team. We are happy to pass on guidance and knowledge.”

“We have already started helping East Leake and Tollerton and have done talks to beavers, scouts and Forest schools.”

“If households erect new barriers like fencing, they can opt for pre-holed panels, one left, right and at the foot of the garden. If you have a wall, leave a gap in the brickwork, Hang gates slightly higher.”

“The very best though for hedgehogs is to have more hedgerow in gardens as this has natural gaps already.”

“Thick based native hedgerow is their life support and transport system. We need to do what we can to help.”

To help out email: wildthingskeyworth@gmail.com

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