Mini-heatwave to bring boost to hibernating hedgehogs across West Yorkshire
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With temperatures set to peak at 21C across West Yorkshire this weekend, which is way higher than the average for this time of year, the Woodland Trust's Nature's Calendar team have said that whilst unusual, the short warm spell at this time of the year may not be bad news for wildlife.
October is an important time for the likes of hedgehogs, whose populations are widely known to be dwindling, as they shuffle and snuffle about feasting on food ahead of hibernation.
Dr Kate Lewthwaite who heads up the Woodland Trust's Citizen’s Science Team said the warmth may boost the amount of food around for many creatures.
She said: "Whilst it is clear that our seasons are changing due to climate change, with earlier springs and later autumns, the pretty damp conditions we have been getting, plus this unusual warm spell to come, may not be a bad thing.
“It looks like being a rather short span of warmth so not long enough to confuse plants and animals.
“Rather more positively, it may give a little bit more time for those animals that are set to hibernate like hedgehogs to find their prey. Hedgehogs feast on worms, beetles and other insects, all of which will remain active for longer in the milder weather. Dormice can stock up on a bigger abundance of berries and nuts. It may also extend the active butterfly season for species like red admiral."
Dr Lewthwaite added “We recommend people to make the most of this warmer weather and get out and about to enjoy the early autumn signs in our woods. If you’re have a particular eye for spotting signs of nature’s changing seasons, we are always on the lookout for more volunteers.”The Woodland Trust is also currently looking for more recorders to track nature’s changes.
For more information about Nature’s Calendar and to become a recorder or volunteer, visit: woodlandtrust.org.uk