Improving city green spaces for wildlife

York Railway Pond
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Mason (my borrowed doggy) and I loved our walk this morning around the historic railway pond in York. It’s a little way out of the centre of York, not too far from the Knavesmire Racecourse.

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Natural fencing around the site

The area is now managed by the York Natural Environment Trust and lots of work is happening to improve the area for wildlife.

Many of the trees have been pollarded to let more light in and provide space for a wider range of species to flourish. It was lovely to see wildflowers, including primroses and comfrey, starting to poke their way through.

Lots of other fantastic ideas as well including the natural fences around the site and lots and lots of log piles. Wonderful homes for insects – essential to feed our wildlife and would make great hedgehog homes too. Also plenty of places to sit and take in this very beautiful and tranquil location. I’m pretty sure that hedgehogs live here because I’ve released some at sites fairly nearby….

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Lots of lovely wood piles

 

It is wonderful to have spaces like this in the city where our wildlife can thrive. The pond is very near to Hob Moor and there is a lovely wildlife corridor pretty much linking the two locations. We need more of these wonderful sites and especially ones that are connected by wildlife corridors.

Well behaved dogs on leads are welcome at the pond.

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The woodland has been opened up to allow more species to flourish

Do you have any spaces like this near you?

These locations rely on the hard work and dedication of volunteers so please do support any work happening in your area.

I run a hedgehog rescue in York. You can find out more about my work here and how to support it.

I don’t have a dog of my own but I borrow a doggy via borrowmydoggy.

 

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Baby hedgehog hoglet self-annointing – warning: super cute video!

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Hedgehogs encountering a new taste or smell display this amazing behaviour called ‘self-annointing’. They foam at the mouth and then contort their bodies as they spread the saliva onto their spines.

No one really knows quite why they exhibit this behaviour but it is amazing to watch. This video is of a baby hedgehog who is encounting a new type of food for the first time. He can’t contain his excitement! Note how long his tongue is!

 

I run a hedgehog hospital in York, England. My work is entirely self-funded. You can find out more about how to support my work here.

How to site your hedgehog box – a video showing where to place your hedgehog house

Hedgehog house
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I’ve made a little video with my top tips on how to site your hedgehog box.

A great read once you’ve bought one or made your own using my guide

I’d love to see your pics and how you get on.

I run a hedgehog hospital in York, England. Like all wildlife rescues, my work is entirely self-funded. You can support my work here

Nature in silver

Silver flower pebble pendant
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I’ve been so busy making lately that I haven’t had time to post. It is great news that everyone is thinking of the hedgehogs and buying ethical this Christmas!

I love nature and it inspires everything I do so I thought I’d show you how I translate nature into my jewellery.

I make my jewellery using silver clay. I trained in traditional silver-smithing but I love the versatility of silver clay and the way I can literally take nature and emboss it into my designs. I hunt for flowers, leaves, twigs, seeds, shells and anything with a beautiful pattern that I can use to emboss into the clay. I’ve always got a little bag with me for foraging trips in the woods, meadows and seashore.

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Designs in silver clay ready for firing

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With this pendant and earring set, I have embossed a design from nature and then inset gorgeous sparkling Peridot stones. I love the freshness of the green.

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This pendant features a real leaf imprint and is set with a garnet cabochon. I use an individual leaf so no two pendants are ever exactly the same.

I’m a keen gardener and I often look to my own garden for my nature inspiration. I particularly love the delicate blue forget-me-nots that flower in the Spring and have incorporated them into many designs.

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Forget me not pendant inspired by the flowers in my garden

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My garden and the colours and flowers that inspire my work. The forget-me-nots are at the front of the beds.

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Daisy chain bracelet with embossed forget-me-nots

As well as embossing direct from nature, I also create designs based on what I see in the garden.  Here is my bumble bee pendant.

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My next plan is to try embossing with the delicate leaves of herbs in the garden and I’d love to try moulding from an acorn……

Thank you so much for reading. I’d love to know what you think of my work and its nature inspiration.

www.littlesilverhedgehog.etsy.com

Ethical gifts for wildlife lovers

Ethical handmade Christmas gifts
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I originally wrote this post for Christmas but all these items make fabulous gifts for wildlife lovers all year round!

Please think about buying handmade and ethical this Christmas. You not only get a lovely gift but charities also benefit. There are lots of charities that sell products to raise funds for their work. My hedgehog rescue is entirely self-funded and I make jewellery to raise funds. I make all of the jewellery from recycled silver.

Here are some other ideas to help you shop ethically this Christmas, all of which support wildlife; from adopting a hedgehog through to being a wildlife rehabilitator for the day. I’ve also included some gifts that don’t give to charity but will help wildlife in other ways. Why not give a hog a home?

Happy shopping and thanks for buying gifts that give back!

If you have any other suggestions for great ethical gifts for wildlife and nature lovers, please get in touch!

British Wildlife Gifts – proceeds support wildlife conservation and rescue charities

Be a wildlife rehabilitator for the day – gift

Adopt a hedgehog – Wildlife Trusts

Sponsor an animal in rehabilitation – Whitby Wildlife Sanctuary

Creature Candy – 10% of proceeds support wildlife rescue

People’s Trust for Endangered Species – Christmas gifts

Adopt a Bee

Give a hedgehog a home

Little Silver Hedgehog – raising funds for hedgehog rescue

Seedball – gorgeous tins of seeds for growing a wildlife meadow and bee/butterfly friendly borders

Provide a beautiful mosaic drinking bowl in your garden for visiting hedgehogs and other wildlife – I love these wildlife inspired designs and they are the perfect height for wildlife.

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Little Silver Hedgehog Jewellery

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Some of the hedgehogs that I have rehabilitated and released

I run a hedgehog hospital in York. My work is entirely self funded. You can also support my work here.

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WANTED – homes for hedgehogs!

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“I want a garden hedgehog!” If I had a pound for every time I’ve heard that, I would be a rich woman!

I’m on the lookout for suitable release sites for 30+ hedgehogs that have spent the Winter in care. I want the best of the best for these rehabilitated hedgehogs so please let me know if you can offer the perfect des-res. Below are the minimum requirements that all homes must meet. I am looking for homes within 5 miles of York but other hedgehog rescues will have similar criteria.

1.. You must already have hedgehogs regularly visiting your garden. This is the only way to know that the habitat is suitable and that the hedgehogs will find a mate. You can’t just release one or two hedgehogs and hope they will colonize an area. If hedgehogs aren’t in the area, sadly, there is a reason…..

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You must already have hedgehogs regularly visiting your garden

2. You must be well away from busy main roads – hazardous to hedgehogs.

3. You and your neighbours must not use slug pellets, pesticides or herbicides – all of these can cause poisoning and death. You must also avoid use of garden netting, check carefully before strimming and forking (and ideally not strim your garden at all)

4. Your garden must be linked to at least 10 large gardens via hedgehog holes/hedges/open fencing. The ideal garden will offer plenty of ground cover for foraging and nest sites.

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The perfect garden will offer wild areas for foraging and shelter

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The best release sites will be packed with native plants to attract insects – beetles and caterpillars are the top two foods for hedgehogs

5. You must provide a suitable escape route from any ponds.

6. You must provide some form of shelter. This can be anything from a homemade house  under a log pile, to a specially purchased hedgehog box. This will give your new resident a helping hand to set up home.

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A hedgehog house made under our log store from bricks, twigs and leaves. It provides great shelter from the elements and also a home for insects.

7. You must leave food and water out daily for at least the first month and ideally forever. For advice about feeding hedgehogs, read my blog

8. Not near badger sites. Badgers will predate hedgehogs where they live in close proximity.

If you didn’t get past the first essential requirement, many people find that if they leave food and water out regularly, they discover they do have hedgehog visitors!

If you are interested in being a release site, drop me a line via my Facebook page

My work rehabilitating hedgehogs is entirely self funded. I raise funds for medicines, food and equipment by making silver jewellery inspired by nature – great ethical gifts! You can also support my work in other ways here.