When we think about autumn, we think about kicking piles of leaves in the air, and digging out gloves and scarves from wherever they might have been stowed last year. Here at Hubble & Hattie, we're also thinking about hedgehogs!
Hedgehogs are one of Britain's best loved creatures; Beatrix Potter's Mrs Tiggywinkle is a household name, and who amongst us didn't shed a tear or two when the hedgehogs got run over in The Animals of Farthing Wood?
Despite their charm, hedgehogs still need our help. In 2007, the european hedgehog made it onto a list of animals which are in need of greater conservation, which is why we at Hubble & Hattie want to spread some love about our spiny little chums, and where better to start then right here at home!
Meet Harry, one of the H&H hoglets who are being looked after by our director, Jude.
Harry first arrived with Jude at the end of June, when a lady in Weymouth found him in her garden and was unable to care for him. He weighed just 200 grams, and was about three weeks old. He was tiny, and no one knew if he'd make it.
Jude kept him snug in a cardboard box lined with newspaper and hay at one end so he could make a nest for himself. Harry was fed on cat food, the odd spoonful of scrambled egg, and a little bit of special kitten food which helps to supply needed vitamins. Jude also gave him dried mealworms to try, but he wasn't too keen!
Harry, being a noisy hoglet, kept Jude up at night with his snuffling and snorting, despite being in a different room and down a flight of stairs. Every morning Jude would go to check him in his box to discover what looked like the aftermath of a very energetic party. Paper shredded, water bowl tipped upside down, food devoured. Despite this general hedgehog mess, Harry was very particular about where he went to the toilet: it was usually in his food dish.
Harry seemed to like adventuring just as much as the next hog, and wasn't afraid to go exploring. On his rambles around the dining room (which he would partake in as his box was cleaned) he would come across Immie, our resident H&H hound. As you can see here, Immie seems rather uncomfortable with her prickly new 'friend', though Harry doesn't seem too bothered!
A bright and active hoglet, Harry gained weight steadily, travelling with Jude and Immie across the country on visits, also popping in to Hubble & Hattie HQ to say hi! Of course, we all thought he was brilliant.
Harry is now living it up in the garden in what can only be described as the Ritz of hedgehog homes. He moved from the house to an outside home with a run as he got bigger, where Jude could keep an eye on his weight gain. When he reached 600 grams, he moved house to the bottom of the garden where there's undergrowth, cover, and no fences! Harry is a free hog, who happens to benefit from a few home comforts... his house is warm, comfortable, and best of all quiet; Harry will be able to while away the winter safe and snug in his hoggy hotel. And, of course, until such time as he decides to take that long snooze, he's still getting fed each night!
The important thing about these houses is that they are safe for hedgehogs to hibernate in. Many hedgehogs are killed accidentally each year in bonfires. With Guy Fawkes celebrations taking place at the end of the week, what better time to give you the dos and dont's of hedgehog safety when making your bonfire, plus some tips on how to create your own hedgehog friendly garden, so keep checking back everyday this week for new info, photos and updates on the H&H Hoglets. You'll also get the chance through the week to submit your own hedgehog stories, photos and artwork, both here and on our facebook site, so if you have any hedgehog related antics to share, we'd love to know about them!