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!

Friday 30 July 2010

Baby hedgehogs

During the last 4 weeks we have been lucky enough to have a hedgehog living under a large fern in one of the flower borders next to the house.

It is unusual for a hoggie to have a permanent nest and come back to it every night at this time of year, so I suspected the hoggie was a she and was getting ready to give birth (or already had given birth) to, some hoglets.

Obviously we couldn't poke around in the nest to see, because that would have frightened her off and possibly caused her to eat the hoglets or abandon them.

This afternoon she came out for a forage, with at least three ( maybe more but only saw three) babies with her.

They are about tennis ball sized, perfect mini hedgehogs and are about 4 weeks old I would say. They followed mum around, making slight squeaks if they lost her, poking around in the dead stuff, for about 20 minutes. Then they went back in to the nest and she followed them and positioned herself across the entrance to the nest. This has been her position every day for the last few weeks, just peeking out at us.

I have provided cat food and fresh water close by.

This is one of the babies on top of the nest. The others have gone back inside and you can just see one in the entrance.

This is the Mum peeping out from the nest, having got the babies inside. She is down the bottom of the picture.


  1. Oh they're just gorgeous! Having been a lifelong hedgehog fan, I often see one dashing across the lawn in the evening here - what a blessing to have a mum and babies though!

    Willow x

  2. hee hee! Cute! But funny how one animal can be appreciated in one country but a pest in another. Conservationists here in NZ call them rats with spines - they eat the eggs of ground dwelling native birds and seeing as NZ evolved without mammalian predators, we have alot of those. They also eat native snails and worms. Ah well. I hear our Pohutakawa tree (which is endangered here) is a pest somewhere - I think it's South Africa.

  3. Oh, how neat!!
    We don't have hedge hogs here in Michigan/US. Are they common there? And do they do any damage to the garden? I think they are just the cutest things!

  4. Our European hedgehog is a gardeners friend as they eat slugs and snails. Yes they will eat pretty well anything but not a huge problem to ground nesting bids really.

    Their main predator, apart from Man (in cars, they get squashed on roads) is the Badger, who can uncurl them and eat the soft underparts.

    I don't know if there is an American version, the animal I have seen in New Mexico was certainly similar but MUCH BIGGER


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