Saturday, 28 November 2015

Temporary Hedgehog

A couple of weeks ago I found a hedgehog in the garden. It had been a few weeks since I'd last seen the regular ones foraging, and I'd weighed them to check they were ok to hibernate. This one looked smaller, so I scooped it up and weighed it. 
Barely 500g, far too small to survive hibernation. I kept it safe, made sure it was warm, had water, bedding, and food. Than I called David at Neath Port Talbot Hedgehog Rescue, and he came to check the hog over for me. She's a female, was riddled with worms, and as suspected, too small, and wouldn't survive the winter.

David helped us with the hedgehogs we rescued last year, they were also far too small for hibernating and he took them and cared for them through the winter. But this time, he's full. There's no space at the hedgehog inn... He does a brilliant job, working full time, and balancing family with wildlife rescue, but he has limits on his resources.
This little one just needed 10 days or so of worm treatment and feeding regularly. With his support and advice, that's exactly what we're doing. She gets 200g of chicken cat food, in jelly - which she leaves but the gravy variety has stuff in that's bad for hedgehogs - per day, fresh water, a bed of shredded newspaper, and left in peace. She's not a pet. We only handle her for weighing, twice a week, and cleaning out daily. They make loads of mess!
Today she was checked again, and the sample seen was clear of all signs of worms. We think we've dealt with that problem successfully.She'll be with us through the Winter and will be released back into our garden next Spring.
By us keeping her here, David has space for a hog that needs more intensive treatment, or is more ill, or injured. Hedgehogs are in decline due to the pesticides we use in our gardens, our roads, we'd like to help the ones that are still around to survive as best they can.
I would like to ask you to consider doing 3 things.
  • Stop using slug pellets. They kill so much more than just slugs. It's not just hedgehogs, it's everything that eats slugs, and everything that eats those things too. 
  • Let part of your garden grow a little bit wilder. Leave the grass at the edges a bit longer, leave that small gap in the fence/hedge. 
  • Consider if you can bung a couple of quid to help David help more hedgehogs - and bats, he does bats too. 
There's more you can do, but they'll do for now. Look out for more hog posts through the winter!
Please, though, please don't just take a hog inside and start feeding or treating it for anything without asking for advice. They are wild animals and get stressed very easily. If you are worried about a hedgehog, put it in a high sided box with a towel for comfort, and a shallow dish of fresh water. Then ask for help. Always ask for help. 

Sunday, 8 November 2015

It's not about you.

Today is Remembrance Sunday. It's cold, wet, and windy. A gloomy day to remember those fallen in various conflicts. There are ceremonies happening around the country, and in other countries, no doubt there's something happening near you.
But would you consider yourself more important than the ceremony you are attending?
This from the BBC.

The service at the Cenotaph is going to be shorter than in previous years, in an effort to reduce the amount of time war veterans are made to stand.
However, plans to make political leaders lay wreaths together in order to save time were dropped after some politicians argued they were being overlooked.

Excuse me? Politicians being overlooked? At a ceremony to remember other people? That's the whole point, you're there for someone else, not for your own prestige. Those men and women fought and died so you could stand there and be a pretentious idiot. Some may have fought and died on your orders. Those who stand there with you did their fighting many years ago and they are growing old now, age does indeed weary them. They deserve your respect, whether you agree with the principles they fought for or not. Whether you agree that the conflict they fought in was just or not. 
The point is, it's their day, not yours. Yes, you ARE being overlooked. Because it's not about you. Stand shoulder to shoulder with your rivals, put aside your differences, and respect those who enabled you to do so.