Pixie, a rescue hedgehog, has been overwintering in a local garage and is due to be released at the end of March. To ensure she has a safe space we have been busy making a few adjustments.
There is a tiny corner of my small garden which has been favoured by a hedgehog before, the remnants of a sturdy leaf shelter still exist there. The spot is tucked away behind an old swing bench. Here there is a bamboo plant continuously shedding leaves which are left in situ, cut pieces of bamboo left as homes for bees and other insects, and odd bits of broken branches added to create a woodpile.
Undisturbed and hidden behind a seat, a great habitat for wildlife. Following advice from the Wildlife Trust website we have constructed a small brick and paving slab ‘house’ close to the old shelter for her and popped in some straw to keep her warm initially, she’ll probably gather the bedding of her choice as she settles in.
Nearby there is a shallow water dish on the ground for her to drink from. A couple of meters further on, a small pond with a shallow beach so if she falls in, she has a safe spot to climb out. Pixie, like all hedgehogs, will want to explore, up to 2 km a night.
Whilst a gap already existed in our fence near her house, a hole has been made in the gate on the other side of the garden to allow her to come and go as she pleases.
As for food, we will put some out for Pixie to help her get started but this might not be needed for long as we have lots of minibeasts in the garden. We don’t use chemicals,
so whilst aphids and slugs certainly appear, they soon attract plenty of predators to come in and feast, including a variety of birds and the occasional hedgehog.
Nature will find a balance if you give it a little time.