Wednesday June 20 2018

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In Full . . .

Save our hedgehogs!

Posted on May 30 2017 at 3:32:10

Charlie and Jayne

Sarah Rees reports from the Oakalls and Parklands.

In the 1950s the hedgehog population in the UK was estimated at over 35 million. That number has plummeted with a 30 per cent decline in the last ten years.

Today there are fewer than one million left in Britain. Some experts say urgent action is needed or the nation’s most-loved mammal could be extinct by 2050.

Willows Hedgehog Rescue in Bromsgrove was founded by Jayne and Charlie Walker (above) in 2010. The self-funded, not-for-profit organisation rescues and treats distressed, injured, sick or orphaned hedgehogs.

The Oakalls offers a sheltered place of safety away from cars on the Bromsgrove Highway and predatory foxes on the rural areas beyond – but Willows has noticed a marked decline in the number of hedgehogs on the estate in the past few years.

This is attributed to a maturing estate where some homeowners have replaced original boundary garden fencing.

In the quest to extend the life of new fencing, an increasing number of residents are buying wooden panels and sitting them on top of concrete slabs – creating a hedgehog “no-go” environment! A simple 15cm gap in fencing, or a channel dug under a fence panel, allows hedgehogs access to your garden.

Residents can also help protect hedgehogs by paying special attention when using lawnmowers, digging the garden or putting down netting to protect plants. These can all prove hazardous for wild animals.

This month could also see the first litters of hoglets being born, so gardeners should be careful not to disturb nests.  

If you are lucky enough to have hedgehogs in your garden please help keep them safe to prevent further decline in their numbers locally. You could also put out bowls of water at night, along with some dry dog or cat food or plain biscuits.

Finally, these are nocturnal creatures. Unless it seems to have a purpose and is going somewhere, any hedgehog found out during daylight could be injured or poorly.

If you have any concerns about a hedgehog, contact Willows immediately on 07518 354 408.

Willows is currently seeking part-time volunteers as Rescue Unit Assistants (evenings and weekends) or for daytime collection of hedgehogs. For more details email contact@willows

Moorhen and pals


residents who have not taken a stroll around the balancing pond recently might like to pop down to see the ducklings swimming around with the mother hens and drakes.

A moorhen has also been spotted, enjoying life on the duck house decking. Moorhens are blackish with a distinctive red and yellow beak and long, green legs.

Although these are common birds, their wetland homes are under threat from development, drainage and pollution. It was a delight to see one living on the pond.

Coun Caroline Spencer said: “We are so lucky to have this pond.

“I am aware that the plants around the water are very overgrown at the moment and have contacted Bromsgrove District Council to request certain areas are trimmed back, to enable residents and children to have a clear view of the ducks and wildlife.” 

Please contact me with your views and concerns about any aspect of life on the estate. Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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