Saturday, 17 October 2009

Playing with power tools

For the last year autumn or two, the Smalls have been busy trying to attract wildlife to our garden. We've had toad houses, insecty log piles, stacks of leaves, bamboo canes bundled up for overwintering creepy crawlies, a tiny washing up bowl sized pond for froggies and water bugs, and bird feeders galore. They even tried to make a hedgehog house from an old teabag box - not surprisingly, there were no takers.

We know we have had hoggy visitors in the past - we've seen them late at night trundling about and have fed them, so when I dismantled and old set of bookshelves we decided it was time to make them a proper house and see whether we could entice anyone to overwinter with us. We found a plan on the Gardeners World website, and Mr DC set to with the Smalls.


Much excitement was had with the electric drill (once we had recharged it - why are they ALWAYS out of power when you need them?) and after a couple of hours they produced a stunning yellow abode. I realise the hosepipe makes it look like something out of Dr Who, but it's actually for ventilation - the last thing we want is suffocated hedgehogs come spring!


The girls have been checking it regularly for inhabitants (it's not properly in place so no chance of them disturbing anyone yet) and were excited to find that someone had moved in:


Our visitor was knitted from Julie's adorable pattern, and took less than an hour. We hope his real life cousins will enjoy their new house too - and repay us by eating all our slugs in the spring!


This post is for Julie, who not only designed the cutie hedgehog pattern, but also inspired us to try to attract some spiky friends by her adventures with Herbert Hogwart a year or two ago.

29 comments:

  1. wow thats cool i hope you get guests soon!
    lesley x

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  2. Oh, fingers crossed a hedgehog makes its winter nest in there - looks like a desirable property :-)

    You can put a cotton thread across the entrance - if a hedgehog goes inside the thread gets pushed aside and you'll know that it's occupied without having to disturb it.

    Good luck
    Celia

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  3. Wow how cool. We too have had hogs in the past, but the cat doesnt like them so we dont want to encourage them. I hope you get some - could you pop in a little birds nest camera?

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  4. If I didn't find hedgehogs so creepy, I might actually be pleased for you.

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  5. Aw.

    I always used to love it when hedgehogs came to visit. Now I'm wondering why my parents didn't build them deluxe accomodations like that, rather than letting them hole up in the unused flower pots...

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  6. Oh, how very exciting! Sending good hedgehog vibes your way -- I hope you get a winter guest!!!

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  7. Okay, that settles it: we are moving next door, pronto.

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  8. A hedgehog des res... how cool is that! I hope you get some real inhabitants soon... although the knitted version is very cute!

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  9. i'm sure they will all be queuing up to get into such a des res!!!

    xxx

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  10. How brilliant! And I'm not surprised the girls were pleased with their new hedgehog friend! Lucy xxx

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  11. What a great idea. We get hedgehogs and foxes in our garden. My son Steven has a pet 'egyptian long-eared hedgehog' called Lola. She's so cool. He left his bedroom window open last week as the weather cooled down and she got cold so hybernated for a couple of days but he's closed his window and the heating is on so now she's running about again!

    I love your little knitted visitor, that is very sweet.
    X X

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  12. Ahh cute! I've been hearing a bit of rustling about in our garden of an evening so I expect it won't be too long before the box has a resident - they must all be on the move now that the cold seems to have set it. But why the hosepipe and not a hole??? x

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  13. I do hope some real hedgehogs move in, but I think I'd be just as happy with your knitted version! So cute!

    We invited a lady who rescues hedgehogs to one of our Rainbows meetings, and the baby hedgehogs she brought along were the highlight of the term. I'd be happy to pass along her details if you need any tips, advice, etc.

    K x

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  14. ooh, how exciting. I hope you get some inhabitants. I would love a hedgehog or two in our garden but it is entirely walled in so no such luck there!

    x

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  15. What a fab hedgehog house - clever Mr DC. I'm sure you'll have a real life resident very soon - they'll be queing up to move in there. I tend to put a few strands of straw in the doorway and when they're moved you can tell if you've had a visitor - it often ends up being taken inside and incorporated into the nest. Thanks so much for the kind words - I'm so pleased that our hedgehoggy adventures have inspired you, J x

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  16. I'm excited to report that we have a hedgehog back in our garden! Pippin is terrified of it! I've only seen it a couple of times but it leaves it's, ahem, evidence on my grass!

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  17. What fun... I do hope you'll have some sweet hedgehog friends visiting soon! Such a cute knitted hedgehog to keep you company in the meantime. And aren't power tools, great. Nothing like the rush using a drill or power-nailer! ;o) Happy Days ((HUGS))

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  18. Love your little knitted hedgehog. Did you see the hedgehogs on Autumn Watch? They were re-homing hedgehogs (from tiggywinkles) into little houses just like that. I hope they begin to move in soon.

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  19. Brilliant! I love that you dismantled old shelves to make it. All it takes is just one hedgehog to spread the word about the fab new digs, great job :)

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  20. super cute, goodluck, waiting on updates....

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  21. Good luck smalls! We have used to have frogs, toads, newts and foxes where we lived in the UK. Now we have squirrels, raccoons and ground hogs!

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  22. Oh, enjoy those 'hedgepodges' (as I used to call them!) when they arrive. In te meantime, that little knitted one is gorgeous!

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  23. My friend Sue set up a hedgy house a year or so ago. I was sceptical, but not only a hedgepig but a little mouse set up home. She fed them with raisins throughout the winter and they seemed to get on rather well. She even had a motion-triggered camera and snapped him as he took the odd amble at night when it wasn't so cold. Here's hoping a cousin of Sue's Mr H (north of Cambridge)snuffles into yours.

    BTW as per usual, had peeped at your magic hedgehog house activities a couple of times and not managed to comment.

    Oh! Just saw Celia's tip for spotting when a hedgepig visits. I think she half inched it off James Bond.

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  24. Your new visitor looks very alert and well behaved ;-)

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  25. Ooh good luck with your lovely new hoggy house - I hope it attracts some lovely spiky visitors for your girlies :)

    xxx

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  26. Really interesting! That little hedgehog is precious. I haven't thought of Dr. Who in YEARS. I was a Tom Baker fan, myself.

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  27. Aww, woolly hedgehogs are the best kind of hedgehog :-) ...although the real ones are lovely too.

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