Dear Friends in Duxford

This is the first in a new HogBlog series for the village. We aim to update it monthly so please check in for news, tips and stories.
This month meet Winnie, who is currently living the life of luxury in a hog Hilton in a back garden in the village.  Winnie came from Shepreth Hedgehog Hospital where she had overwintered.  She is well enough to be released into the wild but unfortunately she ate far too much in hospital and is too rotund to be able to protect herself from predators.  Her lovely foster parents are keeping her safe in a purpose built pen and feeding her a restricted diet until she has slimmed down to a safe size to wander free. Winnie’s pen has enough space for her to wander round in circles searching for the food which is hidden every night to make her take some exercise!
Duxford proudly boasts two approved hedgehog release sites and one safe garden for a blind hog (which can’t be allowed to wander widely). In the past year we have between us released around twelve hogs.
Hedgehogs are an endangered species and their numbers have dropped dramatically in the past 30 years.  At the current rate they could be extinct in another thirty years.  Please help us preserve this delightful little creature by making your back garden a better place for hogs to live. You can help by making a small hole in your fence, 15 x 15 cm will be fine, and encourage your neighbour to do the same.  You might be rewarded by seeing a hog scuttle through in the dusk.  Hogs roam about 2 miles each night and they need to be able to get safely from one feeding area to the next without crossing a road.  Your new visiting friend will hoover up slugs and snails to say thank you.  As the weather gets warmer hogs need to drink and they will thank you for always leaving out a shallow bowl of clean water.  Be careful though because hogs are messy creatures and if the bowl is not heavy they will tip it over.  Ceramic bowls work best.
If you would like to feed your new friends they can eat puppy or cat poultry based wet or dry food.  Please don’t feed them anything fish based and definitely no bread and milk which can make them very ill.  A dish of food left on the grass will attract a pilfering cat so you can build a feeding station from an old plastic box with a lid if you cut a hole about 15 x 15cm and put a brick on the lid.  You can also buy hog feeding boxes on line.
And please remember, if you ever see a hog out during the day you should take action.  Hogs never ever wander in daylight unless they are sick.  Shepreth Hedgehog Hospital will take any sick or injured hog and if you want local help and advice you can call Mrs Tiggywinkle on 07867 538158.
Next month: snorting hogs, miniature ladders and hog boxes.