Your Garden Isn’t Just for You!

Your Garden Isn’t Just for You!

Hedgehogs.  What’s not to love?  Gardeners throughout the land are being urged to consider one of our most beloved native wild mammals since population levels have sunk to a desperate level.  Time was when you’d see a squashed hedgehog on the roads almost all the time.  Remember that Not the Nine O’Clock News’ Hedgehog Sandwich?

The hedgehog preservation society can help!

Your Garden Isn’t Just for You!

Only yesterday, the good folk here at Aluminium Garden Furniture Towers were transfixed by one of these little visitors.  Autumn is a good time for a sighting since hedgehogs have finished breeding and are on the hunt for food.  You can often hear them before you see them since they snuffle quite noisily in dried leaves looking for supper.  They are hibernators and need to store up fat to see them through the winter, although some scientists believe that they may hibernate less if our winter climates continue to get milder.

The fact is that although the hedgehog is regularly voted Britain’s most loved animal, numbers are plummeting at a frightening rate.   A recent survey has concluded that populations of hedgehogs have dropped by 37% in ten years – that’s a faster rate of decline than that being experienced by wild tigers.

Your Garden Isn’t Just for You!

Unlike most other small wild animals, hedgehogs are very well defended by their prickles, with only badgers and cars posing a serious threat.  As a result, they don’t have the fight or flight instinct that keeps most animals out of human reach and the lack of fear that they display makes them one of our favourite wild companions.

To a large extent, it is lack of habitat that is causing the critical drop in numbers, and not just the roads which now traverse the landscape and present such danger.   Hedgehogs like to live in hedges (of course) and it is a well rehearsed argument that says that fencing between neighbours is causing them undue hardship.

Your Garden Isn’t Just for You!

So, when you get outside this autumn with a view to tidying up the patio, and putting away the garden furniture for the duration, do spare a thought for our little visitors.  Don’t tidy every last corner of the garden.  If leaves and debris have collected under a garden bench or outdoor table, don’t feel obliged to sweep it all up.  Elsewhere, piles of leaves and rotting wood offer shelter for all sorts of garden creatures, so let nature take its course.

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