We had an emergency down at the allotment today that has made us question some of our practices.
We had gone as a family to ‘wage war on weeds!’ We had practiced our growls and faces in the car and each person alloted a section to deal with.
Head Gardner started systematically removing the rabbit/pest defences around our assorted brassicas to weed and remove the grass paths. After an hour of concentrated warring (with many a war cry from reluctant digger as he spotted and shooed off the numerous cabbage white butterflies) we were all flagging and considering returning home for some well earned lunch…
Suddenly Head Gardner started talking to himself and called for me to bring him some scissors. He had discovered caught up in the plastic netting a small hedgehog. Luckily the poor creature was still alive but very tangled. Without a thought for the netting Head Gardner cut it out as best he could and placed the poor thing in a plant pot. Unfortunately stuck in the net it seemed weak and still had netting attached.
Abandoning the war on weeds and downing tools we headed to the car to take the hedgehog to our vets (we rung ahead check they would accept it). They’ve taken the poor youngster in and we’re hopeful that they or another vet would be able to help it.
It leads us with a moral dilemma? Do we put back the netting to prevent pests but risk trapping useful wildlife in the protective fence? Or do we leave our crops to be dined on by the local wildlife? What do other allotmenters do? We are very pro wildlife and do not want to find more unfortunate animals caught….