People's Walk for Wildlife

Save the date and join Chris and everybody who cares about wildlife in central London on 22nd September 2018.

It’s up to all of us to protect our wildlife and ensure we live in a world where all life can flourish.

Sat, 22nd September

10am: Gather at Reformers Tree, Hyde Park
12 noon: Infotainment
1pm: Walk
2pm: Finish at Richmond Terrace

SPREAD THE WORD! YOUR WILDLIFE NEEDS YOU!

Tell as many people as you can!  More details HERE http://www.chrispackham.co.uk/the-peoples-walk-for-wildlife

Is What You're Feeding your Visiting Hedgehogs Making Them Ill?

A long but extremely informative post from Oxton Wild Hedgehog Rehab

If you love feeding your hedgehogs, for their sake, please read it.

What can I feed visiting wild hedgehogs (that is good for them?)

OXTON WILD HEDGEHOG REHAB·MONDAY, 10 APRIL 2017

The recent post about poor little Gherkin, metabolic bone disease, and the issues with feeding mealworms, has led to someone asking if I could put something together about feeding wild hogs. I write this with the presumption that if you are reading it, you care greatly about the welfare of the hogs in your garden, and do not want to feed them things which are known to be harmful to their health. Please, on your part, also assume that this is written with the same aim, and with experience of caring for lots of hogs (hundreds), and also the shared experience of a huge UK network of wild hedgehog rehabilitators and wildlife hospitals.

This year, we have already had two admissions prior to little Gherkin, with metabolic bone disease (confirmed by a veterinary surgeon), both barely able to walk, and in pain. Both of these, like Gherkin, were fed large amounts of mealworms.

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So, in answer to the question, what can I feed visiting wild hogs, that is good for them..?

> Its easy. 1) A hedgehog specific biscuit, or

2) Cat biscuits (any flavour will do*) or

3) Wet cat or dog food (any flavour will do*).

*please read further on for more details

It really IS as simple as that. So if you wanted a short answer, please dont feel you have to read any further :) For those of you with all the if’s, but’s, and maybe’s, please do read on.

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First, more information about what you CAN safely feed them as above...

Hedgehog specific biscuits: Here, we feed our visiting wildies with a mix of two things: Ark Wildlife hedgehog biscuits, and Ark Wildlife hedgehog mix. This doesnt get eaten by the neighbourhood cats, the hedgehogs like it (please bear in mind that it WILL take them a few days to get used to a change in food), and the wild birds finish off any bits leftover. I have no affiliation with Ark wildlife, its simply that our wild hogs will eat it. There are other alternatives available. However, I have confidence that Ark wildlife have done their research and formulated a nutritionally complete and appropriate food - it was originally developed for hedgehog rescue centres and wildlife hospitals.

Hedgehog biscuits are also good for their teeth, do not freeze in winter, or go off and attract flies in summer.

Cat Biscuits: People often ask me which one? That depends entirely on you and your budget. We prefer to feed a good quality cat biscuit, (we use cat biscuits for our rescue hogs) and use Royal Canin Kitten, which we have never had a hedgehog refuse. It does not need to be a kitten biscuit (unless you know you have some very young hogs visiting just out of their nest) - cat biscuits are small enough in size for hogs to manage. The flavour does not matter. I repeat, the flavour does not matter. Chicken, fish, rabbit, duck... its all protein just the same. The “dont feed hedgehogs fish flavoured food” is an old wives tale which gets endlessly circulated on the internet. And for those who say “but fish isn't a natural diet for a hedgehog”, how many hedgehogs have you seen hunting chickens, rabbits or ducks...? Rescues up and down the land feed cat and dog food which contains fish. As far as I know, no hedgehogs have turned into snorkelling fish stalkers in the local ponds.... ;)

Cat biscuits are also good for their teeth, do not freeze in winter, or go off and attract flies in summer.

Wet Cat or Dog Food: Again, people often ask me which one? And the answer is the same as above - it depends on your budget, and the flavour does not matter, for all the reasons already discussed above. We dont feed wet food to our wild garden hogs here. It gets extremely cold in winter and is at risk of freezing, and in warmer weather it is at risk of going off and attracting flies, which is the last thing visiting wildlife needs.

 

Still with me? Great. Read on for more answers to the common issues raised by the good folk who feed hedgehogs in their garden.....

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But the hedgehogs will only eat mealworms!

Okay. This has to be the most common thing I hear, usually in a frustrated despairing tone..! Let me ask you something. Would you feed your child nothing, and I mean nothing, but chocolate? No. What about if they had a tantrum and refused other food? Im guessing still no. Thats because you have some common sense and know that regardless of the fact they love it, a diet of chocolate is not good for them.

Please apply that same common sense to the wild hedgehogs in your garden. Yes, they love mealworms. Yes, if you've been feeding loads of mealworms and you change to a proper, nutritionally complete diet, they are likely to have a tantrum. But they WILL EAT WHEN THEY ARE HUNGRY! And yes, I do know this because every year, we admit ill hogs, from members of the public who insist they will not eat anything apart from mealworms. And every single one of those hogs, when mealworms have not been on offer, have caved in and eaten the food available. For some thats taken a day, some two, some three or four days.

BUT if you are STILL offering a bowl of mealworms alongside other food, of course they are going to eat the mealworms and leave the food (think of the child with chocolate!). So PLEASE ditch the (expensive) mealworms, so that they only have healthy food on offer. And wait. They will come back and eat.

 

So, whats this about mealworms and metabolic bone disease?

Food contains calcium and phosphorus. The body of any mammal, (and others) needs blood levels of calcium and phosphorous to be correct to prevent illness. If too much phosphorous is eaten, calcium is taken from the body’s calcium stores (bones) to maintain the correct blood ratio of calcium and phosphorous. This causes bones to become poor density, soft, bendy and at worst deformed, and results in a hedgehog being barely able to walk due to pain, and at high risk of fractures.

Every day I, and other rescues, see endless photos online of people feeding bowls of mealworms to their wild hogs. Mealworms (live and dry) are very high in phosphorous and low in calcium. Imagine a pair of scales - the amount of phosphorus consumed must not be more than the amount of calcium - to prevent bone loss AT LEAST as much calcium must be consumed, preferably more. So all these hogs being fed loads of mealworms are getting lots and lots of phosphorous and hardly any calcium. This is causing awful bone disease. This is happening because people are feeding their wild hogs diets high in mealworms, sunflower hearts and peanuts. All have very high levels of phosphorus and hardly any calcium. They are not a necessary part of a wild hogs diet, please avoid feeding them. You are feeding your wild hogs because you care about them - care enough to feed them nutritionally balanced food :)

 

But if I feed proper food, the cats/dogs/fox/(insert relevant animal as appropriate) will eat it!

As I said previously, when we were feeding the wildies with cat food, yes, the neighbourhood cats were very happy ;) I didn't want to have an enclosed feeder, so swapped to feeding the ark wildlife biscuits and hedgehog mix, which the local cats dont touch (and they were pretty miffed!). You have two choices - feed a hedgehog biscuit/mix the cats wont touch such as Arks, OR place the food in a cat proof feeder. You can buy these (riverside woodcraft do a great feeding station)

http://www.riversidewoodcraft.co.uk/hedgehogs/485-hedgehog-eco-feeding-station.html

or make one VERY cheaply from a plastic underbed storage box....

https://thehedgehog.co.uk/feeding-hedgehogs/how-to-stop-cats-dogs-and-foxes-stealing-the-hedgehogs-food/

 

But cat food/hedgehog food/dog food isn't their natural diet!

Neither are mealworms!! Or peanuts, or biscuits, or cake, or wagon wheels, or any of the other, frankly ridiculous things which people feed wild animals. However, cat and dog food is nutritionally balanced and complete, and will NOT cause skeletal deformities, raging tooth decay, nutritional deficiencies or spine and fur loss - all of which occur with an inappropriate diet.

Mealworms do not exist in the wild. Nor do any of the items above...

 

So what is a hedgehogs natural diet?

Hedgehogs are not insectivores as many people think. Studies have shown they are omnivorous. These studies have analysed faeces and stomach contents of wild hogs, and food preference trials in captive wild hedgehogs.

The main bulk of the diet is caterpillars, beetles, millipedes, earthworms and earwigs. Slugs form a very small percentage of their diet (and transmit lungworm). They also eat frogs, toads, small mammals, carrion, and eggs. It is thought that any fruit and vegetable matter is eaten incidentally (i.e. attached to their food) rather than intentionally. Diet will vary with habitat - and available species.

The aim of providing supplemental feeding is not to try and replicate their natural diet - YOU CANT. But you CAN provide a nutritionally balanced food to support their natural diet.

 

But why cant I feed dried fruit, sultanas, cake, biscuits, wagon wheels, etc etc..? They like it!

So does the child who only wants to eat chocolate... but seriously - rescues are admitting an ever increasing volume of hogs with severe dental disease, even in young hogs. How severe you ask? One rescue had a hog with such severe dental disease, the jawbone had become infected and crumbled. Hogs cannot clean their teeth. Sweet sugary foods cause dental decay in other mammals too. PLEASE do not feed these things.

 

But I like giving them a treat!

They are wild animals. The concept of treats is a human one, very tied into human emotion. Wild animals do not understand treats, they will eat what they are given. The best way of treating your wild hogs is to feed them safe, nutritionally balanced and appropriate food.

 

But the gardener/ my neighbour/someone on the telly (insert appropriate term here) says its fine to feed them mealworms (etc)!

Ask yourself what they know about the care of wild hogs? How much research have they done? Sadly there are still some less enlightened and up to date rescues who tell people to feed these items. All I can say to you, is that the above information is EVIDENCE BASED, and supported by some of the largest and most experienced rescues and wildlife hospitals in the UK.

 

Lastly, if you've made it this far, thanks for reading, and for caring about our native hoggies.

 

Lynda

Oxton Wild Hedgehog Rehab.

Ecological Apocalypse says Springwatch Presenter

 Image Courtesy of Independent (https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2018/06/11/13/chris-packham.jpg?w968h681

Image Courtesy of Independent (https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2018/06/11/13/chris-packham.jpg?w968h681

UK wildlife is in catastrophic decline, according to broadcaster and naturalist Chris Packham.

While the British public can still see the country’s natural heritage on display in reserves, he said much of the country has been reduced to a “green and unpleasant land”.

The Springwatch presenter said wildflowers, butterflies and birds had seen noticeable drops in numbers, and there was a danger of normalising this loss. Read the rest HERE

 

The 10 Most Endangered Animal Species in Britain

Some once-common species are disappearing from our countryside – 10 that have suffered acute declines in recent years are:

  • Small tortoiseshell butterfly
  •  New Forest cicada
  • Turtle dove
  • Cosnard’s net-winged Beetle
  • Wart-biter Cricket
  • V-moth
  • Bearded false darkling beetle
  • Natterjack toad
  • Hedgehog
  • Red squirrel

You can find more information on how to help each of these endangered species by following the link below.

Also, the yellow and grey wagtails are in decline too.  Anything we can do to help these animals ultimately helps the human race, we need to remember that, and love and appreciate our wildlife more.

 

I Wish I Was More Disciplined

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I Wish I Was More Disciplined

How many times a week do you say this to yourself? One, two, five, ten?

You know how it goes, you get soo fired up over a project, it could be losing weight or going to the gym or eating healthy or drinking more water.  The first week you're chock full of enthusiasm and go at like a bull at a gate.  Week two, you do Monday, miss Tuesday, miss Wednesday, feel guilty on Thursday and do it begrudgingly and then Friday onwards it's a downward slope.

I bet you feel like this regularly, I know I do.

The amount of times I've re-done my rotation diet that I HAVE to follow to stop myself becoming oversensitized to the few safe foods that I do have in my diet and what happens.  I call a HALT to it and why, because of that first H - Hunger.  I get soo hungry because I can't process a lot of fat in my diet and so I can't fill myself up.

Want to check out what the others are, the A, the L and the T, hop over to my business page this week where I'll be discussing those and other tips to help get you more focused and disciplined.

For now though, here's three tips you can use to build more discipline into your day so you don't have soo many H days.

1.  REMOVE TEMPTATION

For me, when I'm hungry, instead of reaching for a healthful snack, I know there are always biscuits in the pantry.  Biscuits that I buy for the family,  but that I CAN eat too.  What do I reach for? You guessed it - a biscuit.  This is a toughie for me because if the kids didn't live here, there wouldn't be so many snacks.  Perhaps I should buy biscuits that I CAN'T eat.  If you have cravings for a particular food and you know it's not good for you then try to avoid buying it and so remove the temptation.

2. SCHEDULE BREAKS

We all need to chill, even during the day.  I suggest you work in block time, so you block out time to get certain projects done.  For me, Monday's are content creation day, where I create all the content that I'm going to be sharing for the week.  I set up a focus for the week and video whatever I need to put out on top of any lives I do on Facebook.  However, I do focused work in the mornings and try to finish just after lunch, 3pm at the latest.  I also schedule breaks in between times as I need to eat mid-morning and mid-afternoon, so I rarely work without a break for more than two hours straight.

3.  REWARD YOURSELF

There's nothing worse than working like a trojan for a few hours, achieving whatever it was you set out to achieve and there's no reward at the end of it.  Perhaps there's no one to share it with, or even it's not something that needs sharing, or perhaps it's even something you don't particularly want to share.  When you can't ask for social recognition or put it back to your accountability partner, if you have one, then reward yourself.  Yes, you are allowed.  If that means a coffee and a bun at your local cafe, then so be it.  Or if it's just a hot chocolate and a choccy biccy - hmm.  That sounds great too.

So there are just three simple ways to keep yourself bouyed up and motivated, discipline is a mixture of mindset, motivation and munching to keep up those energy levels.  And no, I don't mean sugary loaded snacks, but good healthful things like shakes or crudites and dips or even a homemade soup.  And soup isn't that difficult, chuck a few root vegetables and potatoes in a steamer or boiling water, with a stock cube, cook till soft and then whizz up and season to taste.  Twenty minutes, bish, bash, bosh as a certain Mr Oliver would say.

Have a great week and stay on track, check over on my Facebook page for more hints and tips on being disciplined this week.

Much love,

Yvonne

x

 

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I Just Can't Seem to Get Motivated

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I just can't seem to get motivated. 

What's wrong with me?

Probably nothing, except...

You're tired, you're overwhelmed and you don't feel like you're getting anywhere.

Ever have days like that?  We all have them at one time or another, it's when they come with alarming regularity that we need to sit up and take notice.

It's when day after day, week after week, we feel like nothing matters, we'll do it tomorrow, we feel constantly jaded and lacking in energy.

It almost feels like we're depressed but we know we're not, we've been to the doctors and he says it's just stress, take some time for yourself and you berate yourself for wasting the time going in the first place.  The doctor wasn't likely to come up with anything positive you think to yourself.  But hey, they're probably right.

Stress and overwhelm take soo much energy out of us and they make us feel jaded and unable to cope.

Here are three ways you can help lift your mood and energy levels before you begin trying to sort out what you need to do in your business.  You need to look after you first and foremost, before anyone else.  If you're a carer in any kind of capacity, you'll know the demands on your time and so, as the old saying goes, put your own oxygen mask on first before you help others with theirs.

1. Walking

Exercise is a great mood enhancer, it takes us out of our current situation and perspective and instantly catapults into a world of different sights and sounds, fresh air and the ability to reach out to others, if only with a friendly smile.

So get out of the house and take a walk, if it's only round the block for ten minutes but preferably somewhere green for just half an hour if you can manage that.  It will release endorphins or the 'feel good' factor into your brain.

2.  Gratitude

Whilst you're out and about taking a much needed break from your work environment, workload and the stress that goes with it, begin considering what you're actually grateful for.  Instead of focusing on the negative, make a mental list of all the positive things in your life.  Count them off on your fingers and get up 10 before you go back to your desk.

Changing up your mindset like this will begin to fine tune it to re-program itself when you are feeling down and miserable by kicking in and focusing on what's good about your life.  Just the sheer fact that you can walk down the street is number one on the list, there are many people who aren't afforded even that kind of freedom.

3.  Fun

Once you've got your 10 gratitude items, then start to think about what fun activity you can engage in.  This doesn't have to be anyone else's idea of fun, it's yours.  It might be going to a local fun fair, or curling up on the sofa with a good book, flying a helicopter or pitching the tent in your garden and spending a night under the stars.

What do you do to have fun?

Build a fun activity into your week and from now on, make it a regular occurence to build them in.  You are important, so make time to recharge your batteries.

Once you've recharged yourself, you'll be far better equipped to take on the challenges of the workload and life will start to feel better the more in control you are.

And that's just a small taste of what you'll get when you work with me in my 30 day video-led program, Rock Your Day, you will learn techniques to evaluate your relationships, your current workload, your visions and goals, you'll discover a new way to structure your day, set up your projects to win and much more...

I know you want to give service to your family, your friends, your business and I know that in amongst all that, you're probably struggling to keep your head above water and build in any kind of self care.  Let me show you how you can bridge the gap between service and self-care by mastering your time.

Join me for 30 days of 10 minute bite-sized videos, comprehensive workbook, live Q&A coaching and guest speaker interviews.  In just one month, you'll feel less frazzled, your day will be less frenetic and you'll finally be moving from burnout to balanced; stressed to scheduled.

If that sounds good to you and you want to say YES to #timeonyourterms then click the link below.

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ROCK YOUR DAY COURSE?

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Hate Mondays? Let's make the week a bit easier, shall we?

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It's the start of a whole new week.  How are you feeling?  Are you looking forward to the week with relish or are you just considering rolling over, putting your head under the duvet and not surfacing until Friday?  I wish, I hear you cry.

But seriously, do you love or hate Mondays?  I love them.   For me, it's the start of a whole new week of goals, dreams, intentions, actions and, above all, possibilities.  Anything can happen, and it probably will.  

And yes, some of it may not be exactly what we'd been hoping for and other times, it's the most unexpected things that happen that bring us the greatest joy.

A letter from a long-lost friend, finding a penny in the street, a stranger who smiles at us, a kindly gentleman who holds the door open for us.  All these small things contribute to our well-being and sense of self.  On the other hand,  things could go horribly wrong.

So how can we get  less of the latter?  I know you want more of the things you're hoping for and I also know that you find it difficult to fit everything into your busy day.  You get to the end of the day and you're so exhausted that you fall asleep in front of the TV and then spend the night tossing and turning because you can't sleep for thinking about all the things you need to do the next day.

This week is super busy for me, I have a really full schedule but I spent three hours on Saturday morning (and yes, that is a real no no for me normally, but this week I had to do it) planning the month of November.

I needed to get clear what my goals were for the month, the important projects I needed to focus on and then drill down those projects into actionable steps on a weekly and daily basis.  And yes, it was three hours of real focused work but it's worth because I still get to have time off in the week despite my workload and I still have time to do all the things in my business that I need to get done.

What would that look like for you?  Would that mean you could have some quiet time reading your book for one afternoon a week, or going for a coffee and chat with a friend, getting your hair done, cooking a cake.  What would time on your terms look like for you?
How do you even start to schedule your time?

Today, I want you to sit down and decide what is the most important project you have this week in your business or home life and what one thing would move that project forward.  Then I want you to spend 60% of your available time on just that one thing.  What will you feel like when you get to the end of the week and you've smashed that part of the project because you spent focused time and consistent action on that one item alone?  Will that feel good?

And that's just a small taste of what you'll get when you work with me in my 30 day video-led program, Rock Your Day, you will learn techniques to evaluate your relationships, your current workload, your visions and goals, you'll discover a new way to structure your day, set up your projects to win and much more...

I know you want to give service to your family, your friends, your business and I know that in amongst all that, you're probably struggling to keep your head above water and build in any kind of self care.  Let me show you how you can bridge the gap between service and self-care by mastering your time.

Join me for 30 days of 10 minute bite-sized videos, comprehensive workbook, live Q&A coaching and guest speaker interviews.  In just one month, you'll feel less frazzled, your day will be less frenetic and you'll finally be moving from burnout to balanced; stressed to scheduled.

If that sounds good to you and you want to say YES to #timeonyourterms then hit the link below.
 

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How to Manage Time With 10 Tips That Work

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Joe Mathews, Don Debolt and Deb Percival

Are you working on clock time or 'real' time? Learn how to manage your day by understanding the difference with these 10 time management tips.

Chances are good that, at some time in your life, you've taken a time management class, read about it in books, and tried to use an electronic or paper-based day planner to organize, prioritize and schedule your day. "Why, with this knowledge and these gadgets," you may ask, "do I still feel like I can't get everything done I need to?"

The answer is simple. Everything you ever learned about managing time is a complete waste of time because it doesn't work.

Before you can even begin to manage time, you must learn what time is. A dictionary defines time as "the point or period at which things occur." Put simply, time is when stuff happens>>>to read the rest of the article go HERE

Pie Powder & Little Green Men

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As hubby is still busy trying to clear out his late father’s house prior to the sale going through, we decided to forego last week’s trip.  He was really too busy this week, but I put my foot down and said we both needed a break.

Our jolly was in Leominster this week, another beautiful medieval/Tudor town.  We arrived at around 10.30 am and decided to have a look up and down the High Street to begin with.  Well, we spent half an hour in an Antiques Emporium, floors and floors of the building stuffed with all manner of memoribilia.  We soon realised that this was the trend in Leominster, one in five shops was dedicated to Antiques.  It would have been bliss for me if not for the dust allergy, which meant I kept coughing, so we abandoned that for a while and took ourselves off the Bendictine Priory..

 

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We were not disappointed, it was a huge place and was obviously very lovingly used by the community it served.  It had a delightful clock that chimed every quarter hour and with the sun shining, we abanonded going back to the car to eat lunch and Pete went off to fetch our food and we sat in the grounds of the church, enjoying the sunshine, the clock chimes and watching a man fastidiously sketching some carvings.  Inside the church, we also saw another of my passions, some Green Men carvings.

After our repast we set off for Grange Court, built in 1633 and moved from its original location to opposite a lovely open space/park.  It was absolutely delightful and a wonderful little Tudor gem.  Albeit the bottom had been filled in as the original would have been open at the bottom to allow the trading of corn, flour, livestock etc.  The property is owned and run by the community for the community and although entrance is free, I assume they make an income off leasing the lovely business units that form the perimiter of the lovely gardens where you can take tea.

 

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When it was originally built by John Abel, carpenter to the King, the upstairs rooms would have been the law courts and also where they held the Pie Powder Court.  What might you ask is that – well it originates from the French pieds poudres, meaning dusty feet and referred, presumably, to the floury dust that was all over the trader’s shoes.  This was an on-the-spot legal hearing for any trader’s who were not abiding by the rules of perhaps their flour and grain weights not be quite as calibrated as they ought to have been.  Fascinating place.

Leicester in Stitches are a group of residents who work out of there and they had created a myriad of different embroidered wall hangings, a few of which you can see below.

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If you’d like to visit, you can find more information at Grange Court

The weather made the day and as I love anything Tudor, it was a big YES from me.  We both enjoyed it though and at 4pm decided to head home, but got waylaid on the way back at Burford Garden Store.  I’ll leave that for another time because there really is a story behind that one.