Be wary of hedgehogs nestling in old leaves

Taking a few simple precautions during the autumn can help prevent needless injuries to hedgehogs and other wildlife.

Sunday, 6th November 2016, 11:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 3:51 pm
Jam Jar Army logo

We had a call recently from someone who’d been leaving a pile of hedge cuttings to dry prior to burning, only to discover a hedgehog had taken up residence.

Fortunately, the person in question was very fond of hedgehogs and delighted to realise one had adopted his pile of leaves and twigs as home.

To us as humans, this was just a pile of garden refuse, but to a hedgehog it was five-star accommodation with a top rating on Hedgehog TripAdvisor!

This hedgehog will not only have a safe haven for the winter, but the family is now going to support him/her with food and water and enjoy a good relationship with their gardener’s friend.

As Bonfire Night is nearing, we would like to take this opportunity of reminding people that, not only hedgehogs, but also other wildlife will see heaps of twigs, leaves, etc, as an ideal place to call home – they don’t realise someone is going to come along and set fire to it, which would cause serious injuries to any wildlife in residence.

We don’t wish to spoil any celebrations, but just ask people to take a few precautions by checking underneath the bonfire prior to lighting it or, even better, move it to another place.

This simple procedure would ensure no harm would come to any unsuspecting creature.

Burns are extremely painful, as anyone who has unfortunately experienced them will know, and it’s no different for hedgehogs except they don’t have the facilities to treat them.

And, as prevention is always best, we hope you will look out for our prickly friends and enjoy your celebrations in the knowledge you’ve done everything possible to prevent any accidents. Thank you.

l Northumbrian Hedgehog Rescue Trust, based in Longframlington, is one of two beneficiaries of this year’s Jam Jar Army campaign, which we have extended through until next summer.

Return your full jars or collect stickers and posters from the Gazette office.