We are lucky to have a fantastic variety of regular furry and feathered visitors to our parish.
We’ve listed below a selection of species that have been sighted by local residents and we would love to hear about your sightings too.
There are also some tips on how you can encourage wildlife diversity in your own garden and links to organisations who can provide more detailed advice.
Hedgehogs are decline and need our help. It’s been reported that the UK population has halved since 2000, however the good news is that we have a number of healthy hedgehog families living in Badger Farm.
You can find out where they have been spotted and add your own sightings
The Big Hedgehog Map www.bighedgehogmap.org
Our little spikey friends might already be visiting your garden during their nocturnal perambulations, however if you want to make sure that they pop in then leave them some food and a shallow dish of water.
It’s best to put it out at dusk and they can eat any non-fish based cat food (dry or wet) or special hedgehog food which you can buy at garden centres, pet shops or online.
(Please don’t feed them milk, bread or dried mealworms as these are not good for them).
More details about what they like to munch can be found here
If you have problems with the local cats pinching the food then try putting it under a cover with a hedgehog sized access hole, an upturned storage tub is ideal.
If food isn’t eaten overnight replace it with fresh and try again the following evening.
It’s also important to make sure that hedgehogs can access gardens to allow them more space for exploring and foraging.
If you haven’t done so already then think about adding a “hedgehog highway” – a hole in your fence or wall approximately 13cm x 13cm which will be big enough for a hedgehog but too small for most pets.
Hedgehog First Aid
If you find an injured hedgehog or one who is out during the day (which is a sign that something is not right) then advice is available from the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (Tel: 01584 890 801).
They will also be able to give you the details of local wildlife rescue centres.
Check out their website https://www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk/found-a-hedgehog/
A Hedgehog’s calendar
Hedgehogs hibernate in the winter from around November-December until March-April.
We will be adding more details about building hedgehog homes in the Autumn (in time for their next long snooze) but in the meantime take a look here if you are interested in adding a hedgehog house to your garden https://www.hedgehogstreet.org/help-hedgehogs/hedgehog-homes/
May marks the start of hedgehog mating season and little hoglets are born in June/July.
They will be venturing out within a few weeks and by August will be looking for their own garden to call home.
Some hogs might have a second litter in the autumn which is trickier for the hoglets as it is important for them to hurry to gain weight so that they can survive hibernation through the winter.
Winchester City Council has an ongoing hedgehog project surveying the population in the City.
If you are interested in taking part then take a look at the details here https://www.winchester.gov.uk/planning/open-spaces/hedgehog-project
Finally we have unfortunately had a few hedgehogs killed on our roads in Badger Farm.
New wildlife road signs were launched in 2019 and we would like to consider getting involved in a pilot project for their use.
The more data we have about the scale of the issue the better.
If you see a hedgehog that has fallen victim to traffic please log it on the Big Hedgehog Map and let us know by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about hedgehogs, please visit https://www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk/
The following have all been spotted in Badger Farm, which other species can you add?
Blackbird, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Collared Dove, Great Tit, Grey Heron, House Sparrow, Jackdaw, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Long Tailed Tit, Magpie, Robin, Starling, Thrush, Wood Pigeon
Every January the RSPB runs the Big Garden Bird Watch a great activity to get the whole family involved
Images sent in by Cllr Sarah McColl (except the Woodpecker)
(click on an image below to view a larger photo)