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Help a hedgehog! It’s official! Since 2020 hedgehogs are classified as vulnerable to extinction and we all need to do our bit to help our prickly friends. Badgers are their main predators and with road fatalities and a decrease in food sources rural hedgehogs are particularly in danger. Hedgehogs are widely known as the gardener’s friend as they love eating slugs, beetles and caterpillars etc.


FASCINATING FACTS • In one night a hedgehog can walk over 2 miles.


• A group of hedgehogs is called an array. • Hedgehogs have a natural immunity to snake venom.


• A fully grown hedgehog has up to 7000 spines – each one lasts about a year before dropping out and being replaced by a new one.


• They are notorious loners who only meet up for mating.


• It’s unusual to see hedgehogs in the day but in July you may see hoglets appearing with their mother at around 3-4 weeks old searching for food.


Make your garden more hedgehog friendly


Provide access - A small gap under your garden gate or fence is ideal – an opening of just 13 square cm at ground level will be sufficient.


Remove hazards - cover drains and holes and remove any netting they could get trapped in.


Avoid the use of pesticides and don’t use slug pellets.


Make a hedgehog house- Provide shelters such as log piles/compost heaps or leaf piles. You can also build or buy hedgehog homes - get them outside well before hibernation season (November to March)


Feed them- Hedgehogs can eat puppy or kitten food (meat or chicken in jelly), cooked chicken, raw minced meat or unsalted nuts. Also, leave fresh water out for your visiting hogs.


Don’t leave out milk as they are lactose intolerant


Ponds provide a great place for your visiting hedgehogs to go for a swim. Just make sure you build a gently sloping edge for them to climb back out. REMEMBER TO: • Check for hedgehogs before using lawn mowers or strimmers • Check compost heaps before raking them over • Check bonfires before you light them.


PRICKLES IN A PICKLE? If you spot an injured, stranded or troubled hog help is at hand. Check the website pricklesinapickle.co.uk or call Judy on 07891 657104. Based in Stoke Fleming Prickles in a Pickle are a home-based hedgehog rescue centre that take in injured, poorly or underweight hedgehogs.


NATURE EVENTS 3 JULY MEET THE BEES Mothecombe Gardens An introduction to Bumble Bees, Solitary Bees, Bee Mimics and Other Pollinators. £25 - Pre Booking Only 10am - 4pm. Contact: mothecombegardens@ flete.co.uk


16 JULY – 8 AUGUST THE BIG BUTTERFLY COUNT 2021


Help take the pulse of nature. Bigbutterflycount.org


19 JULY


SEASONAL GUIDE TO BIRD WATCHING IN SOUTH DEVON AONB Join us for a seasonal bird talk, celebrating the birds of our long summer days! Free online talk 7 – 8pm. Southdevonaonb.org.uk


JULY 24 – AUGUST 1 NATIONAL WHALE AND DOLPHIN WATCH WEEK Seawatchfoundation.org.uk


24 JULY – 8 AUGUST NATIONAL MARINE WEEK This week celebrates all things marine so why not visit the Wembury Marine Centre where you can learn about the beach and its marine wildlife through interactive displays and regular family rockpool and snorkel safaris. wemburymarinecentre.org


29 JULY WHAT HAPPENS/HAPPENED IN THIS OLD GREEN LANE? Cornworthy Join Valerie Belsey, author of books on Devonshire’s green lanes, and take a slow walk up and down one of the longest lanes in the South Hams. 11am – 2pm. Southdevonaonb.org.uk


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