Sunday, 1 March 2009


I haven't been feeding hedgehogs for that long now, but it seems like ages already. In fact it's difficult to remember quite how it started.

I suppose it was because we had a water bowl in the garden for my lovely cat, Spock (now sadly departed), who always preferred to drink water outside for some reason. The thing was, all the other neighbourhood animals would also make a beeline to our garden so as to drink from the water bowl, and as well as neighbours' cats, the bowl was visited by an assortment of garden birds in the daytime and - as I soon found out - hedgehogs in the evenings.

We initially started feeding the hogs quite by accident in the summer of 2007. We noticed they liked the mealworms that we put out for the birds to eat, and so we would deliberately scatter mealworms over the patio for "the hedgehog" in the evening.

Note that I say "the hedgehog" in the singular. For quite a while we thought there was only the one - we hadn't considered there were many different hedgehogs visiting. It took sightings of two or three together at the same time to make me realise that it wasn't just a lone hedgehog. And the more I watched out for them, the more I noticed lots of different hogs - big ones, medium-sized ones, and some quite little ones.

Later that summer I decided that the hogs should have their own bowl to feed from, so bought a lovely hedgehog bowl from the National Trust. We soon introduced a second bowl that is usually filled with peanuts and sultanas - which the hogs do like, but they much prefer the mealworms if they can get them.

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