Friends of Brandwood End Cemetery are Hedgehog Heroes!

Wednesday 31st May 2017

credit Tom Marshall

The Friends of Brandwood End Cemetery, Birmingham Rangers and The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country along with local children are premiering their community Hedgehog film on Monday 5th June.

Thanks to National Lottery players, through a Heritage Lottery Fund grant, Brandwood has become a Hedgehog hot spot, and a film has been made about the experience of those involved in the project.

An estimated 30% of Hedgehogs have disappeared over the past decade. There are now fewer than one million left.

Once a common sight in our gardens, this spiny species is now declining rapidly across the UK. The reason for the decline is not clear, but habitat loss and urban development – particularly the loss of hedgerows, habitat fragmentation and the intensification of agriculture – is thought to be to blame. Roads, garden pest control – including slug pellets – and the increasing use of impenetrable garden fencing is certainly contributing to the decline of our urban Hedgehogs.

The Trust is working with the Friends of Brandwood End Cemetery and the Parks Ranger Service to help our Hedgehogs in this corner of South Birmingham. Together they are surveying the fascinating site, improving the natural spaces within the cemetery to encourage Hedgehogs and engaging local residents, schools and community groups to make similar improvements to their gardens.

5 ways to encourage Hedgehogs to your garden
1. Provide good food

Leaving food out for Hedgehogs can help them during cold snaps and help them reach a healthy hibernation weight. A meaty dog or cat food (not fish flavoured), dry cat biscuits, unsalted peanuts and mealworms are firm favourites. Please don't give Hedgehogs bread and milk - it's very bad for them as they are lactose intolerant! You can put food in a crate or box to prevent other critters from polishing it all off.

2. Garden Wild
Leaving patches of long grass will attract insects and other wildlife. Create a variety of habitats and keep your garden green, paving and decking over gardens reduces ‘hog habitat. Attracting insects - including Bees, Butterflies and other pollinators - does wonders for your garden. Not only will it help your plants to thrive but they will provide food for Hedgehogs and a host of other birds and beasts!

3. Connect your garden
Habitat loss is a major cause of Hedgehog declines. As urban gardens are increasingly fenced in and cut off, Hedgehogs are unable to move between them to find food and mates. Cut a small hole 13cm x 13cm (the size of a CD) in your garden fence, and ask your neighbours to do the same, to create a Hedgehog corridor down your street.

4. Give a 'hog a home
Providing Hedgehogs with a home throughout the year will encourage them to take up residence in your garden. Leave prunings and leaves in a wild corner for Hedgehogs to use when making nests. A stack of wood encourages a rich feast of Earwigs, Centipedes and Woodlice, perfect food for 'hogs! Woodpiles will also provide refuges for wildlife to hide in. 

Hedgehog’s love apple and cherry leaves, and hawthorn and honeysuckleprunings make good structural supports. Hedgehogs and other wildlife may nest under sheds, patios and pavings. It's important to check these structures carefully for any sleeping critters before removing or relocating them.

5. Log your ‘hog!
If you spot a Hedgehog in your garden add it to the live interactive map so The Wildlife Trust can monitor the impact of the work – you can add a photograph too! 

If you want help to turn your area into a Hedgehog Hot Spot, call Emma on 0121 454 1199

Help for Hedgehogs Premiere
Monday 5th June, 7.00pm-8.00pm, Kings Heath Park, Birmingham, B14 7TQ
The film will last about 5 minutes with talks from The Friends of Brandwood End Cemetery, Birmingham Rangers and the Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country.
Food and drink also available.
Tickets are free but must be booked ahead