Sunday, 2 November 2008

Longfield - Garden & Awards

The other week I glanced into the garden just before heading off to work and noticed a medium sized hedgehog wandering along the raised flower bed. Excited in having one in the garden I took my eyes off it for a few minutes to alert my wife, by the time I looked back in to the garden it had disappeared. I then saw it again wandering around the base of a spirea in its mouth was a load of dry leaves and a few berries. I wasn't sure what to make of it and thought it had been foraging and the berries and leaves had got stuck in its mouth. I then got distracted and by the time I looked back there it was again in the same spot this time with a new set of leaves in it's mouth. It then dawned on me that it was building a nest between the spirea and some pine logs that I have in the garden. This was confirmed when it appeared from beneath the pile of leaves to a well earned breakfast of cat food much to the indignation of our rather large tabby.

Given that I do have two hedgehog houses in the garden, they are either occupied or the decor is not to the liking of this particular individual. Either way it was an exciting and unexpected garden event. I'm not sure just how long the hedgehog had been building its winter home but it must have taken it quite some time to build the pile of leaves, pictured here in the centre.

Since 2005 I have been entering the joint run Council and KWT gardening for wildlife scheme and have been successful in winning a highly commended and two silver awards for my efforts. This year was the icing on the cake as I managed to get a gold award, I am so pleased and I have volunteered to be a garden assessor next year.

Also this week I received an award from the KWT for two photos that I entered in their wildlife photography competition. I was 'amazed' that I won first and third prize in the flora category with the following entries as it was all very spur of the moment.

1st Prize Winner in the Flora Category - Ox eye Daises at Yockletts Bank

3rd Prize Winner in the Flora Category - Bee Orchid Queendown Warren


Greenie said...

Congratulations on your three awards .
Pressure next year judging .
A first for me , seeing the hedgehog winter home .

Tony Morris said...

Well done John with the awards. Love the Hedgehog story, they're great but getting scarcer.

Warren Baker said...

Well done on making your garden a haven for wildlife John, and well done on the photo's too!

Cheryl said...

Well done with your awards....I to got a gold this year for wildlife gardening from Kent Wildlife Trust.....

We also have a hedgehog....a hoglet....quite plump but small......I put him in the hedgehog house, only to find the next day he had left and buried himself under a pile of leaves.....perhaps they know best eh!!

Steve said...

Congratulations John - couple of great photos - especially the Oxeye Daisy shot! Good stuff!

John Young said...

Hi folks. Many thanks for the comments. John