Second egg for Woking Peregrines – more to come?

The Woking Peregrine Project celebrates the second egg laid by the peregrines under the watchful eye(s) of the web cameras.  Peregrines have already successully bred here in 2016 and 2017.

Even better news – there may be another egg due on Wednesday as peregrines usually lay in 48 hour intervals.  Do have a look at the live webcam videos and Twitter feed on their website for the latest updates – it’s fascinating and addictive!!

[Photos by Woking Peregrine Project / Woking Borough Council]

Mini Beast from the East hits Wildlife hard

Freezing temperatures brought on by the ‘mini Beast from the East’ just days before the start of spring could have serious consequences for wildlife, experts have said according to the Daily Mail.

Whether sand martins and wheatears returning from long  migrations who need to restore their energy, or frogspawn and insects who thought the earlier warming temperatures were a sign spring was coming, the cold and snow this weekend could have a massive impact on our wildlife.

Feed the birds, but be aware of risks, say wildlife experts

Feeding our garden birds can provide vital energy resources for our feathered friends, but we are also responsible for making sure it doesn’t have unexpected harm. The BBC report on research by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) on the risks of disease in wild birds from garden bird feeders.

ZSL and the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) recommend:

  1. Do keep feeding your birds, especially in winter, but just be aware of the risks and how you can minimise them
  2. Clean bird feeders regularly
  3. Rotate feeding sites to avoid build up of droppings and/or regurgitated food
  4. If you notice a sick bird (e.g. unusually fluffed-up plumage and lethargic):

Learn more about what you can do to help Normandy’s wildlife.

Snow where to go

We hope you haven’t been inconvenienced by the “beast from the east” as the snow settled in Normandy.  Remember, our wildlife friends may struggle in these unusual conditions too.

Keeping your bird feeders filled will mean you could see a large number of birds, but don’t forget the water too!  As ponds and natural watering places are frozen, you could really help by filling water dishes for our feathered friends.

And you may see some more unusal visitors to your garden looking for food – fieldfare, redwing and goldcrest, for example.  The fieldfares, redwings and thrushes will love any rotting apples you leave out in the garden.

Help Hedgehogs have a Home

We are so lucky to have hedgehogs in our village, this is mainly due to the age of many of our homes meaning we have larger than average gardens that are not totally fenced in. Hedgehogs need access a range of gardens, to be able to move freely at night to snuffle in the hedgerows and under bushes.

In February and March hedgehogs will start wakening from their winter hibernation.  When exactly will depend on the weather – if we have freezing temperatures they will stay tucked up in their nests. They will also wake up on warmer evenings and have a mooch around for food in the winter.

Food and water

They are particularly fond of bird food, which is why I saw the first hedgehog in my garden – eating dropped sunflower hearts from a birdfeeder. Meal worms, sunflower hearts, chopped peanuts are favourites. They will also eat tinned dog/cat food (not fish based).

Never feed hedgehogs milk as it can cause diarrhea; instead provide plain, fresh water in a shallow bowl.

I leave a dish of food and water outside my french doors and enjoy watching the hedgehogs come at dusk to feast from March to November. Hedgehogs can travel 1-2 km a night during their active season.

Hedgehog-friendly gardening

To help hedgehogs in your garden:

· If you have a wooden fence, think about cutting a small piece out at the bottom or, as I have done, dig out soil from underneath the concrete gravel board.

· Cover drains and holes and place bricks/pebbles at the side of ponds to give hedgehogs an easy route out (yes they can swim!). Cover swimming pools overnight and when not in use.

· Check for hedgehogs before using strimmers or mowers, particularly under hedges where animals may rest. Check compost heaps for nesting hogs before forking over.

· Build bonfires as close to time of lighting as possible and check them thoroughly before lighting.

· Remove sports or fruit netting when not in use to prevent hedgehogs becoming entangled, and getting injured.

Beware of slug pellets!

These can poison hedgehogs and our lovely song and mistle thrush as they eat snails and slugs. Try using beer traps or I’ve had excellent results with a new organic product made of recycled sheep’s wool pellets.

Make a hedgehog a home

Why not make a hedgehog home, by leaving areas of the garden ‘wild’, with piles of leaf litter and logs? These are an attractive nest as well as a home for the invertebrates (slugs, beetles) that hedgehogs like to eat.

Making an artificial home can be as simple as placing a piece of board against a wall with some wood piled inside. Or, an upturned old plastic washing up bowl, covered it with leaves, tucked under a shrub in a quiet corner of the garden with no direct sunlight.

Hedgehogs don’t tend to like you putting nesting material inside, they like to forage and choose their own! So don’t rake up all those dead leaves or throw away dried ornamental grass cuttings, leave a pile in a corner or tucked under shrubs and they will take what they need. You can of course now buy purpose built hedgehog houses at a price!


Read also The Times’s article on How gardeners can help save the hedgehog published on 24th Feb 2018.


Please email us with your sightings of hedgehogs seen in the village at If you see a hedgehog out during the day or a small hedgehog in the autumn (they must weigh 600grams to survive hibernation) then please contact one of our local wildlife rescue centres – Harper Asprey (01344 623106) or Wildlife Aid (09061 800132).

Hedgehog Street has been set up nationally to monitor where hedgehogs are found and they would like you to email sightings at

Written by Angela Gray