Our newly introduced Hedgehogs have had waitress service daily , but now they are on their own. I doubt any of you will see one of them as they only emerge at night. If you do spot one, let us or Array4hogs know.
Our thanks to Array4Hogs as they are working with the Friends to help boost the Hedgehog population in the rewilded areas of the cemetery.
Array4hogs, run by Sharon and her team of volunteers, is a local rescue centre who have had to cope with over 170 rescued Hedgehogs this year. The cemetery offers 53 acres of relatively safe environment in which to release Hedgehogs. They may pop up in your garden if you are within a couple of miles of the cemetery as they can travel several miles at night.
Soon they will be settling down for the Winter but on warmer nights they may still pop out! Thank you to Sharon and Alan for agreeing to use the cemetery as a release site and their time today.
Winter is a quiet time in Brandwood End but the Friends have been working away in the background on a number of projects.
We are creating a number of ‘Trail sheets’ that will cover Heritage items, trees, interesting graves, fascinating memorials, quiet corners to rest and take in the wildlife and trees plus measured routes to stroll, with distances and surface types to encourage the less able to enjoy them as well.
The sheet below, kindly produced by committee member Lisa Fair, highlights some of the cemetery heritage- both historical and ecological.
Many of our followers and local residents were involved in our year long Hedgehog Project. Things are not looking too good for the Hedgehog !
According to a new State of Hedgehogs report, rural populations remain in decline but numbers are stabilising and even increasing in urban areas! We can all play our part in helping hedgehogs at home! Consider being part of a Hedgehog Highway and create a hole in your fence so they can roam freely in search of food at night. Leave out water, meaty dog or cat food, cat biscuits or specialist hedgehog food. Stop using chemicals in your garden and create a log pile which will attract insects and provide valuable shelter. Whilst there is a long way to go, we want to see hedgehog numbers increasing across the country!
Pleased to see that the new fencing to the rear of the lodge is completed and looking good. The idea was to avoid reinstalling larch lap panels, that the wind soon damages, and deter people from walking through the lodge garden to the rear burial section- but maintain an open aspect.
I think you will all agree that these new fences fulfil all of those requirements….but it appears someone or something is continuing their usual route ! Gathering by the snow prints I think its local foxes and pussy cats, but they have been very busy!
In the last week there have been several sightings of Hedgehogs locally. This one was snapped after crossing the main Drive in the cemetery. Our thanks again tour supporters who keep sending these lovely photos in.
We are always interested to know when Hedgehogs are spotted in the area as, with the Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust, we undertook a project to improve habitat locally. Looks like it could be working!
Our thanks to a local drone operator who shared these magical views with us.
In the following higher shot you are able to get a small insight into the amazing trees within Brandwood End. We are hoping to arrange a walk around the cemetery with Dean, our local Ranger but as local people will know- their time is very much at a premium.
I hope the residents of Kings Heath realise the amazing green space that sits quietly on their doorstep. Luckily for us, the local wildlife are well aware of their opportunities and the cemetery is home to Muntjac deer, Foxes, Hedgehogs, Squirrels,Woodpeckers, Owls, birds of prey……….and many species of familiar birds.
Tree contractors, Idverde, have crown lifted many conifers (removed lower branches) and other species, as well as removing Ivy from the lower 6 feet of trunks along the Sunderton road boundary.
Regular visitors to the cemetery will have noticed a huge increase in tree work in the last year. This has followed a survey to determine the safety of many of the older and diseased trees, to prevent damage to graves, property and people in the future. Brandwood End was opened in 1899 and many of the trees were planted then or, in the case of some of the oaks, before that date. Oaks often live for several hundred years but many other species have a much shorter life expectancy and that is the case with many of our 1700 plus trees!
We have seen major crown lifting on both sides of our Wellingtonia avenue, large trees removed on the Broad Lane boundary, Poplars removed along the Sunderton Road boundary, Woodland reduced on the pool end of Sunderton road and various trees crown lifted or removed across the cemetery.
On the plus side, great care has been taken to consider wildlife with trees left untouched that are being used by Woodpeckers, ivy growth removed in some areas and left in others for nesting, standing tree stumps left to improve biodiversity and logs piled for Hedgehog use.
A tree replacement programme has been started and a number of new trees have already been planted by local pupils. The Friends hope that this can continue, provided funding can be found.
On Wednesday this week we unveiled our latest addition to Brandwood End Cemetery….a lovely Interpretation Board displaying lots of information about how to ‘Help Hedgehogs’. This is the final event in our Heritage Lottery sponsored ‘Help for Hedgehogs’ project.
Lots of people to thank today…. Councillor Tristran Chatfield, who unveiled the board for us , Bereavement Service Office and Ground Staff, all our local Councillors, The Wildlife Trust (Birmingham and Black Country), The Park Ranger Service, SHED, Woodthorpe Primary School, St Albans RC Primary, Rachel (our film maker), FBEC volunteers and finally the local community.
Our thanks to Moseley and Kings Heath SHED
Their members stepped up to the plate and helped make lots and lots of Hedgehog Houses and ‘do it yourself’ kits for events, as part of our Help for Hedgehogs event.
Today we were able to present Mark, who attended events on behalf of SHED, with a cheque to help them buy replacement timber etc.
Please follow this link to see more information on SHED, who are a registered charity.
Once again, our thank to the National Lottery, Heritage Lottery Fund for funding this project.