Hello and welcome to The Compost Bin. I'm Compostwoman and I live with my family in rural Herefordshire. We have nearly four acres of garden and woodland, all managed organically and to Permaculture principles, which we share with Chickens, Cats and assorted wildlife. We also grow a lot of our own food, run courses in all sorts of things and make a lot of compost!

I am a Master Composter and have spent more than a decade as a volunteer Community Compost adviser with Garden Organic and my local Council.
I'm a self employed Environmental Educator so I run workshops and events where I talk about compost, veg growing, chicken keeping, cooking, preserving and sustainable living. I also run crafts workshops and Forest School/outdoor play sessions in our wood.

We try to live a more self sufficient lifestyle here, as best we can, while still having a comfortable life and lots of fun.

To learn more about us click on the About Compostwoman tab and remember to click on the photos to make them full size!

Wednesday 14 October 2009

Spike, our new house guest!

We have a new guest at Compost Mansions. A young Hedgehog! He was found wandering around the School Field and so we were asked to take him home, as we have reared hedgehog babies before. He was in a bad way from cold and lack of food and he is too young and small to make it through hibernation this winter and would die if he tried. He only weighs 150 g and ideally needs to be around 500g to make it through hibernation AND WAKE UP AGAIN ( very important, that last bit!)

So this poor, small, lost little baby needed help. Urgently.

He perked up a bit that evening when we put him in a spare rabbit cage we had in the shed, with a nice warm dark bed and cat meat to eat, and we thought we had sorted him out, but the next day he had started to wobble when he walked - never a good sign in an animal!

So, we brough the cage in the house, I put him in a box by the woodburner to warm up and then dropper fed him rehydration fluid.

And gave him a massage ( with all those spines, tricky, that! )

until he roused enough to eat a bit of mashed cat meat from my hand.

BTW, do NOT give bread and milk to hedgehogs as it is VERY bad for them!

He is now stuffing his face with cat food today and making a hell of a mess in the cage.....

We have called him "Spike".


  1. Spike is a gorgeous little hoggy!!!
    Lovely photographs...........
    Much Love, Jane xxxxxx

  2. So cute! I wish we had hedgehogs.

  3. So adorable!!! I just love hedgehogs!

  4. Now that's cute! I rescued an echidna many years ago, they move like greased lightning when they think you aren't watching lol.

  5. Oh CJ.....now if I just had a £1 for everytime Ihad done that! lol. I have overwontered them in my kitchen of all places...not the best smell in the world hehehehe...but never the less, cutsy little people and keep the cats entertained no end. Hope he does really well and you have great success with him.
    I'm bracing myself for the wonter intake ;o)

    Sue xxx

  6. Aww, my mother loves hedgehogs and saved/raised several like you're doing for Spike.

  7. Oh good luck! We rescued one last year, but she only survived a week - I realised a lot in hindsight and really should have given her to someone who knew what they were doing. I felt a bit guilty afterwards, but we did our best.

    She was the same weight as yours when we found her.

    They are very cute aren't they! Her favourite place was under the woodburner!

  8. Oh MY gOsh!
    How darn cute is that lil Hedgehog!!!!
    I want one just like him/her...Well you are doing a great job and good on you for caring enough to raise this little darling

  9. We have one which visits each night to raid the cat's food bowl under the verandah. Always comes at about 9.15pm - we are wondering how many more nights we will see him before he gets tucked up somewhere for the winter?!

  10. What a heart warming story! He's just so adorable I'm glad he's got a fighting chance. I've also rescued a fair few critters along my way. It's always so wonderful when they make it :0D

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  13. I hate to see us lose your input but I wonder if simply publishing articles with no comments enabled and having a members-only forum wouldn't be a good compromise. There's something about the immediacy of the response form and the lack of accountability available from anonymity (oh, hypocritical me) that seems to encourage people's awfulness.

  14. That aside, I think that a multiple-contributor blog would give you support and provide some other perspectives. You could combine this with your ideas on coaching/ghostwriting and work with 'intern' contributors to hone their skills, see their work supplying your site, and give them the tools they need to take your philosophies and understanding out on their own tangents. It might give you a regular supply of fresh, new writers and keep things going while allowing you to step back a little. (If you did go with the intern idea, drop me a line, will you? *g*)

  15. well if I knew who you were, maybe I would.....


Hello! Thank you for reading my blog and for commenting. I try to reply as quickly as I can and I really appreciate your interest in my life and doings here in The Compost Bin.