Tag Archives: hedgehogs in the garden

Mammals in British gardens

92,000 people have taken part in the RSPB’s survey of garden wildlife, Make Your Nature Count, taking in 69,000 gardens in the UK. In addition to birds, the RSB asked participamts to look out for certain species of mammals. Above image: Nigel Blake (rspb-images.com)

Fourteen per cent  recorded the presence of moles, with half of these detecting moles regularly. Unsurprisingly, most moles were detected in rural gardens, being most frequently seen (or at least their molehills) in Wales in 25% of gardens, compared with 15% in Scotland and 13% in England. There are no moles in Northern Ireland.  Roe deer were recorded in 5% of gardens, with most sightings came from Scotland, where they were seen in 16% of gardens, compared to 4% in England and only 0.5% in Wales. There are no roe deer in Northern Ireland.

Hedgehogs were seen in 30% of gardens in urban areas, and more than one in seven saw them regularly. Hedgehog expert Hugh Warwick said: “Gardens are clearly very important for hedgehogs, a great example of a truly wild animal not only at home with us but also of great benefit to gardeners. “We should treasure the fact that they live comfortably in our gardens and so many people can get nose-to-nose with them.” The Guardian

A lucky 5%, in my opinion, saw badgers, including more than 20& in Somerset and Pembrokeshire.

The results:

Badger 5.50
Fox 26.23
Muntjac deer 1.91
Hedgehog 23.35
Roe deer 2.22
Mole 7.33
Red Squirrel 0.77
Cat 79.41

What hedgehogs like to eat

The idea of hedgehogs feasting mainly on slugs and snails is somewhat of a misconception.  It’s true that hedgehogs are very useful natural pest controllers, snaffling up all kinds of unwanted creatures in your garden, but gastropods form only part of their varied diet, which includes beetles, earth worms, millipedes, caterpillars, earwigs, frogs, and bird’s eggs.  In fact, if they are forced to eat too many slugs and snails, because of lack of alternative food, they are at risk of lungworm infestation.  Hedgehogs suffering from this parasite, which slugs and snails harbour, will develop the symptoms of a heavy smoker, wheezing and coughing their way to an early death. Continue reading What hedgehogs like to eat