|Picture courtesy of British Hedgehog|
Hedgehogs are meat eaters that like to snack on slugs, caterpillars, beatles and earthworms and we certainly have a supply of those little critters as organic gardeners.
|picture courtesy of British Hedgehog|
As the nights were drawing in we dug out an old guinea pig hutch, and half buried it in the undergrowth close to the hens in the hope that 'one eye' would find it and hibernate. Sadly, when we took a peek a few weeks later, it was still empty.
|'John' our large hybrid|
So hopefully this little fellow will find his/her own place to settle for the winter months and we'll get another peek next year.
We often see signs of foxes in the garden and one day whilst I was working at the computer, I looked up to see two young ones frolicking in the field opposite.
One of our favourite discoveries this year was when we were clearing the main crop potatoes and unearthed this little fellow. I was surprised to read that most amphibians here (apart from newts) only need water for breeding, leaving it to spend most of the year on land. There they feed on flies, worms and other invertebrates in the shelter of nettle beds (so another great reason for not having gardens that are too tidy!). That would explains why we sometimes see them here even though we don't have a pond, just a natural spring down the lane.
If you'd like more information on hedgehogs, with interesting facts and diagrams on building your own hibernating shelters, check out the British Hedgehog Preservation Society's website.) Hedgehogs hibernate around October/November time, often in compost heaps or wood piles, so bear them in mind when you're tidying up the garden before the winter.