Springwatching the Hedgehogs

 

 

All our Hedgehogs should now be awake and if not already, found a Mate to do what Hedgehogs do !
Indeed, the one Hedgehog I had hibernating in my Garden over Winter emerged and within two weeks I noticed he or she had found a friend.

Having their babies can present some problems with their survival though and the following are a guide to ensure the new families have a good chance of getting through Summer, hibernating and extending their population next year..

Hedgehog eating meat cat food

Compost Heaps and Bonfires

These are favourite places for Hedgehogs to either spend a night or have their babies in.
Special attention should be made when either getting compost out or lighting a bonfire. Đọc tiếp “Springwatching the Hedgehogs”

When Frugal was just a way of life

 

To many people living frugally is something, for want of a better word, clever.
For some it’s a necessity, for some a kind of hobby but for many of those in my age bracket it’s just something we learnt or picked up from our Grandparents and have continued the trend.

In 1950’s post war Britain, no matter what social class you belonged to, you were still under the influence of things such as ‘make do and mend’, bartering Vegetables and Eggs with your neighbours or Allotment Keepers, you kept Chickens, cut your own firewood and had a Vegetable Patch down the garden.
Fair enough, some more upper classes weren’t quite the same – they could afford to pay someone to do it for them !

Chopping the Kindling Wood
Chopping the Kindling with Grandfathers old Axe from the 50’s. All be it a tad tatty, behind is his coal shovel still in use

I could probably afford to go down the local Petrol Station or Wood Yard to buy Kindling or larger Wood for my Rayburn and Open Fire, but why do that when there’s an ample free supply on your doorstep?
In my case I have access to loads of old Pallet Boxes from the 1960’s and a fair sized Wood just down the Lane.

It just doesn’t make sense, whilst I have the health, to buy any. The money I save doing that can be used for more the treats such as my Photography Hobby or having a few breaks away here and there.

Just to remind me that I’m not being clever or ‘modern’, I still use many of my Grandfather’s Tools, most of which are either the same age as me, or older still!
Sure they’re tatty and some falling apart, but they do the job just as well should I go out and spend money on new ones.

But the job they do the most effectively for me is to remind me that these things were just a normal kind of existance when I was a young lad when I’d follow Grandpa down the Garden and watch him digging the Vegetables in his Percy Thrower style tweed jacket, shirt and a tie (I wear joggers and a past it’s sell by date jumper though!).




The more time has gone by since I downshifted from ‘a proper job’ in 1999 I’ve learn to see it more as living a simpler lifestyle rather than a frugal one.
Simpler may not be exactly the right word – walking up the Garden on a windy cold January day to feed the Chickens, digging soggy soil in March and sawing up loads of wood isn’t exactly simple, but you’re not conforming to what modern living is about; you’re taking away the complications, you’re knowing where your food is coming from at a tenth of the price, but most of all you’re not spending money when spending money isn’t needed.

I sometimes think to myself if I hid all the technology away from the House and invited my Grandparents to spend two days with me, what would they think?
I think they would just slot in as if nothing much had happened in the last 50 / 60 years or so.

The sad thing and what they would probably notice is the diminishing wildlife population, but that’s another story!

Livng a frugal life is not something new, it’s simply copying either through personal experiences and memories or researching what it was like through those post war years.

Live the dream and live a simple life!




Hedgehogs and Fence Panels

 

Recent figures have shown yet another 10% drop in the Hedgehog Poluation in the last year, 30% since 2000.
Now being at Number 9 in the UK Endangered Species List it is imperitive that a major effort has to be made to help these numbers increase and bring about a rising healthy population.

One huge factor are new Housing Developments. Not only are they ‘stealing’ nature’s habitats away, they are restricting safe passages for our Hedgehogs through them.
It seems that 6 feet high fence panels are an essential part of these Developments; they give instant privacy and in a lesser degree, some security.

Hedgehog Unfriendly Garden
No way in and no way through forcing any Hog to detour and probably to danger

‘The Hedgehog Highway’ is a term brought about by The British Hedgehog Preservation Society and means just that – a route for Hedgehogs to go about their business, find safe places to sleep the night and hibernate through Winter.
A Hedgehog can travel over one mile a night looking for food, they are Nomads, so don’t have a full time residence outside of breeding, they are constantly on the search.

An enormous difference could be made by ensuring a passage through not only new Developments but through Estates or Residential areas where fence panels are in place.

Tunnel under Fence for Hedgehogs
Some Fence Panels have concrete bases – if so, almost anything can be used to make a little tunnel




ALL THAT’S NEEDED ARE A FEW 5″ (13cm) HOLES SAWN OUT AT THE BOTTOM and you’ve certainly paid a part into ensuring a future for our spikey friends.

Sure this is only a part of it and there are many more ways in which we can play our part, some of which can be found on the Garden Wildlife pages, one of the biggest being to leave at least one area of your Garden to run a little wild attracting not only Hedgehogs but Insects and Bugs on which they depend.


Channel 5 News 1st. March 2016

We have to make sure that our Children and their’s to come will marvel at the sight of these beautiful interesting creatures roaming around in a more acceptable habitat.

See also ‘Hedgehog Street’and join in the Project!





New Housing Developments, a Hypocrisy?

 

‘A new Housing Estate surrounded by the Beautiful Kent Countryside’ the Developers often say ot thereabouts.
‘A new Housing Estate in the middle and eating up the Kent Countryside’ maybe more accurate?

Or ‘A new Housing Estate on the edge of the Kent Countryside but not for long because another Developers going to buy the fields next to you which will make you as annoyed as the bloke who’s writing this article’!

back of new houses

I see the need for new housing and for people wishing to live close by the Countryside and enjoying the benefits of a modern home with all the mod cons, but what really does upset me is that should they insist on such advertising, they should at least respect what the sountryside is and how important, if not more, it is to wildlife.

In this age of so many species being endangered, not enough seems to be done; the fronts of houses can look quite attractive, usually with no garden as such, then behind them lay the car parking spaces, in a concrete and brick maze and Gardens enclosed in 6 feet high panelled fencing.
All in all a sure fire certainty that wildlife will be severely diminished until some of the owners decide to make changes and attract birds, bees and other creatures.

estate2
Gardens two sided panels, one sided brick wall!




Hedgehogs

These pride of the Nation creatures are now one of the most endangered species in the UK and much of the reason lays with the fact they can’t get around as they used to. Gone are the hedgerows replaced with our ‘put it up quick’ fencing methods.

This can easily be rectified by putting 5″ holes in the fencing for them to get through (the ‘Hedgehog Highway’) but should that be down to the new owners? Can’t this be done by the Developers themselves, the cost would be minimum and good PR surely?

To be fair, some Developers are building new homes with suitable wild spaces within a complex, bird boxes under eaves, ponds and of the like, but too many aren’t – many exterior designs do compliment the countryside, but for many it’s build and sell’em quick.

New Housing Estate Road Names
Disclaimer – the above streets are in an Estate where three large ponds have been created

Then come the road names, see just a few below.

The photo showing the car park spaces and brick walls are part of an Estate where we have ‘Wood Lane’, ‘Hawthorn Close’, ‘Acorn Close’, ‘Reed Crescent’ and more. At least plant a few of the said Trees and have a Pond where there are some Reeds!

More emphasis must be put into caring for our wildlife, we can’t just go on as we are. If we do our natural cycles will be disturbed beyond repair, species will die out and after all..

They can survive without us but we can’t survive without them!