Wednesday, November 24, 2004

The Return of the Hedgehog.

In a letter to the Veterinary Record , Gerald. C. Coles from the Department of Clinical Science, University of Bristol has pointed out :

"A balance needs to be struck between badgers - omnivores with no natural enemies - and the hedgehog. It will require reducing badger numbers if hedgehogs are to return to rural gardens and countryside"

We agree.

Farmers within the cull areas of the Krebbs trial, have noticed that where a reduction in badger numbers has been achieved (and that is not always the case, given the appalling inefficiency of cage traps) a few hedgehogs are returning. Some have remarked that they hadn't seen hedgehogs around the countryside in years.

Not so lucky are the bumble bees and wood wasps whose nests were summarily destroyed in July / August (see If you go Down in our Woods Today - archived) .

Totally dependant on spring pollen collection for building the nests in which they should have spent winter, after the destruction by badgers of this habitat in mid summer, the raw material used for building is short on the ground - or in this case in the flowers. Our wild bees, bumble bees and wood wasps didn't make it.

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