Old bins used for hedge­hog homes

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - School Fete - By Tri­cia Jamieson

tjamieson@thek­m­group.co.uk Win­dow cleaner Mark Foster has come up with a unique use for his dust­bin now he no longer needs it.

He has cut it in half and turned it into two hedge­hog houses.

He was in­spired to do it af­ter dis­turb­ing a nest of hedge­hogs be­hind his shed.

“I think this is a great idea for our un­wanted dust­bins now we have wheelie bins,” said Mr Foster, of Green­side, High Halden.

“I felt so guilty about dis­turb­ing the nest be­hind my shed that I went on­line to look for hedge­hog houses.

“You can pay up to £50 for one, but then I had a brain­wave of us­ing my old dust­bin.”

In a mat­ter of an hour, Mr Foster had two bins.

He cut his in half, put the lid down as a base and up­ended the bin on top of it, with a hedge­hog size hole cut in the side for a door. The plas­tic bits left over have made a porch.

“You are not sup­posed to put in a lin­ing be­cause they like to do that them­selves,” he said.

“It doesn’t cost any­thing and with all the un­wanted dust­bins, we could have hedge­hog houses all over the place.

“I have placed mine at the bot­tom of my gar­den, in a quiet place which is quite dark, sup­ported it with bricks, rub­ble and logs so the fox can’t get to it and then thrown a load of com­post over the top. Hey presto, the hedge­hog has her own house for breed­ing and hi­ber­na­tion.

“Hedge­hogs are very ter­ri­to­rial, so if you see one in your gar­den it is likely if you build them a house that they may set­tle.”

The mother dis­turbed by Mr Foster had made her nest in a plas­tic sheet be­hind his shed.

“She al­ways nests be­hind the shed, but not in the plas­tic sheet,” he said. “I grabbed the sheet to pull it out and saw the ba­bies. Un­for­tu­nately, she aban­doned them and they died.

“I love hedge­hogs and felt very guilty about dis­turb­ing them.”

A spokesman for Ash­ford coun­cil said it was not col­lect­ing dust­bins that were now un­wanted be­cause of the in­tro­duc­tion this week of the bor­ough’s new waste col­lec­tion and re­cy­cling sys­tem.

“We would en­cour­age peo- ple to try and re-use them,” she said. “Mak­ing a hedge­hog house sounds like a great idea.

“They can be of­fered to re­cy­cling web­sites or to al­lot­ments where they can be used to store wa­ter.

“As a last re­sort, they can be taken to the rub­bish and re­cy­cling cen­tre at Cobbs Wood.”

Can you think of any other un­usual uses for un­wanted dust­bins? Send your sug­ges­tions to Ken­tish Ex­press, 34-36 North Street, Ash­ford TN24 8JR or email ken­tish­ex­press@thek­m­group. co.uk

Mark Foster with the hedge­hog houses he has made from old plas­tic dust­bins

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