It is the height of summer and Viola is taking advantage of the light nights, being out walking at 10.00 in the evening at Gartinstarry, quite a long way from the Gargunnock estate. She spots a hedgehog and notes how fast it can run. Hedgehogs are quite fleet of foot and can travel up to 4 kilometres each night in search of food. They are largely nocturnal and eat slugs, worms and other small invertebrates. If you see a hedgehog during the day it is likely to be in trouble, so do contact the RSPCA or hedgehog rescue organisation.
Hedgehog numbers are on the decline in the UK as they fall victim to traffic and their habitat is eroded. You can find out more about hedgehogs, how to encourage them into your gardens and what to do if you find one in distess here.
Viola describes digging out a rabbit burrow to explore the construction and draws a diagram of what she finds out in her diary.
July 31st Gartinstarry West Field 10.00 pm
Saw a dark blot moving rapidly about on the
grass. Ran up and found it was a hedgehog.
It was running about stopping now and again
to eat a piece of grass, & the noise of its champing
was quite distinct and audible.
Dug out old rabbit’s nest this afternoon.
The passage was about 4 feet in length and
fairly straight, ending in a circular chamber
about 1 ft in diameter, and floored with
moss, hay and fur. There was only one entrance
and the chamber was about 8ins below the
surface of the ground & 9ins high.