We recently had to get a new fence put up. The old fence was very wildlife friendly. It was covered with ivy, which insects loved, and had convenient gaps for hedgehogs to get through. But it did lack certain qualities you’d look for in a fence (stability and verticality for a start). So anyway, something had to be done.
I’ve talked about the problems of habitat fragmentation in a previous post, and this is just as much an issue for urban hedgehogs as for rural dormice. Our garden isn’t big enough to support a hedgehog (they can have very large territories), but is part of several hedgehog’s rounds. We wanted to make sure the hogs could still enjoy our garden (and we could still enjoy watching them). So when we got a few quotes we were careful to make sure that part of the specification was that it should have a hole in it that hedgehogs could get through.
I felt a bit silly asking for a hedgehog hole, but the fencers took it in their stride (having previously had to do something similar for cats that refused to climb fences). So we now have a neat little hole for Erinaceous and friends.
I was glad we had talked to them about hedgehogs, as when they were clearing our compost heap to put in a new fence post they came across a hibernating hedgehog. Luckily they realised what he was and put him safely in our hedgehog house without waking him. Hopefully the hedgehog won’t be too confused when he wakes up!
Of course, the most wildlife friendly boundary we could have installed would have been a hedge with native fruit and nut trees. Sadly there wasn’t room for that. The new fence, while wonderfully vertical and stable, does look very bare without the ivy. I just need to plot out what to plant to make it a little more wildlife friendly.
Read a post on hog watching