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November is Design and Technology Month

This month we will be planting a hedge, looking at making hedgehog house in wood work, making a lunch box in sewing and of course they will be gingerbread houses in cooking (look of for these post and the gallery.)

The two big things we will be focused on this year in design and technology are hedgehogs. There has been a catastrophic decline in the hedgehog population. According to new research the Great British public would choose to save the hedgehog from extinction. However, it does mean that we take action.

What action can we take? Here is a list of things we as homeschools can do to help these adorable creatures. The advice comes from Tiggywinkles, the UK wildlife hospital charity, which advises any hedgehog out during the day is probably in trouble and should be taken to a wildlife rescue centre. The exception to this rule are pregnant female hedgehogs who will be out and about gathering nesting material or gathering food while the little hedgehogs are sleeping. if you are not sure what to do when you find a hedgehog wondering around during the day contact Tiggywinkles or the British Hedgehog Preservation Society.

The next thing we can do is to allow access to our gardens. This doesn't mean leaving the gate open but we can build into or even cut in to our fences hedgehog holes. This needs to be done in conversation with your neighbours. Hedgehogs can only get into gardens to feed, nest and hibernate if there are gaps or holes for access. A hedgehog travels up to 2km every night between March and November in order to find enough to eat and so it needs to cover this distance safely without crossing roads.

We can also think carefully about slug pellets. Ferric phosphate pellets are said to be less harmful to hedgehogs, but will take slugs and snails out of their food chain, so if could avoid using them - the hedgehogs will help you control the slug population. We can encourage hedgehogs in by leaving out dog or cat food preferably chicken or turkey flavour. Bread and milk can dehydrate and even kill them.

Planting a hedge if you have the space is a great way of encouraging and protecting hedgehogs. A hedge is the perfect garden habitat for hedgehogs, allowing them easy access between gardens, and room for piles of leaves to accumulate beneath it, where they can forage, hibernate and raise their young.

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