We have plenty of hedgehogs at The Dulaig B&B
We read today The Times is raising money for the Hedgehog Society because hedgehog numbers are seriously declining in UK. It made us remember how lucky we are to have so many hedgehogs in our garden at The Dulaig B&B. We can see several in an evening, and often our guests see their first hedgehog here.
Our hedgehogs are doing so well that they sometimes have two litters of young a year, and these pictures are of tiny hoglets (baby hedgehogs) which we rescued in Autumn as they were too small to be able to hibernate though the winter: these are known as Autumn Juveniles.
The picture on the left was the first and tiniest hoglet we rescued and it was spotted late one September evening by guests Linda and Len: the step in the background is only 5cm high, and the hoglet weighed only 125 grams so you can imagine how small it was. We found others in daylight, as the pictures above show - hedgehogs are nocturnal and seeing them in daylight is a sure sign that they need help.
These babies needed to be kept well-fed and out of hibernation through winter.
Iona (right) of Munlochy Animal Aid agreed to overwinter the hoglets for us as their facilities (and much milder climate than in Grantown-on-Spey) would give them the best chance of survival.
A happy hoglet on its return to our garden after winter - look at the difference in size and I must say its spines were much pricklier too! We kept this one and its three siblings in a converted hen house with a large run for a few weeks, giving them food and water before opening the run to let them roam free. It was a "soft" release as we continued put food in the house each night for weeks until it was no longer being eaten - the hedgehogs were still in the garden but finding enough food for themselves.
Here is one of the little hedgehogs seen after release roaming free in the late evening - what a brilliant result!
We leave parts of our garden wild, with twig and leaf piles and our hedgehogs are hibernating there now, but if you want to see hedgehogs at other times of year there is a good chance you will do so at The Dulaig 5 Star B&B both for people and wildlife!
- Cairngorms National Park
- Grantown on Spey
- The Dulaig