News Pledgehog

Tree-mendous Team Effort

Local organisations have been springing into action at Dunbar’s Winterfield Park to help hedgehogs as they come out of winter hibernation. Logs are being kindly donated by Dunbar based tree surgeon David Carnegie, owner of Treetek, to build a large log pile, aiming to benefit local hedgehogs.

David Carnegie, owner of Treetek donating logs.

Jen Walker, Sustaining Dunbar’s Pledgehog Project Officer says “We hope that the new hedgehog area will provide a natural daytime shelter or a nesting place to raise their hoglets throughout the spring, summer and autumn months or in winter becomes a new place for hibernation. Dead wood also provides an important home for all sorts of insect life which hedgehogs then eat as well. We have also hidden a ‘man-made’ hedgehog house nearby so it will be exciting to see if either are used throughout the year. A hedgehog was seen regularly in the surrounding area last year and one was even spotted wandering in through the main entrance to the park.”

Hedgehog shelter in development.

Friends of Winterfield have been working closely with East Lothian Council’s Amenities team to make wildlife friendly improvements to the park; with lots of tree and bulb planting, extending the wildflower beds and hedges as well as the development of a dedicated wildlife garden area.

Kenny Aitken, from East Lothian Council Amenities Team, planting trees with the help of volunteers from Friends of Winterfield.

Esther Hughes, Secretary of Friends of Winterfield enthused, “A year ago we formed some modest plans to manage a disused piece of land within the Winterfield Park boundary.  Little did we know that we would be building such a biodiverse wildlife garden and how much focus we would be placing on one little, and increasingly rare, mammal: the hedgehog!  We’re delighted to have begun the construction of a log shelter to complement the hedgehog box we set up last autumn.  We hope to provide a safe and sheltered environment for these amazing creatures and look forward to continuing working with the Pledgehog Project to make the park into a real hedgehog haven.”

Beautiful wildflower areas at Winterfield Park provide insect-rich areas for hedgehogs to forage for food. These strips also act as a wildlife corridor letting hedgehogs wander around without being too exposed in the open. This year these areas are being increased and joined up more to help with this.
Naomi Barnes and Jen Walker from Sustaining Dunbar with Esther Hughes from Friends of Winterfield discussing improvements to make Winterfield Park more wildlife (and hedgehog) friendly.

The Dunbar Pledgehog Project has been run by Sustaining Dunbar throughout 2023 thanks to funding from the Dunbar and East Linton Area Partnership.

Hedgehog image above (copyright Phillip Horwood).

This video was taken in a garden nearby Winterfield Park.