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How To Help Hedgehogs

May 2, 2019

 

There are lots of ways we can all get involved and so much any avid gardeners among us can do to help our local hedgehogs. With species numbers in decline it is now more important than ever to get involved and spread the word around the dangers surrounding British Hedgehogs.

Hedgehog Facts

Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals and usually only come out at night having spent all days sleeping in nests, bushes and other foliage. The hedgehog has a thick spine coat which they use to protect themselves by curling up into a ball when threatened, which provides an impressive defense mechanism against predators. Each hedgehog has around 5000 spines and each year the spine coat is replaced with a new one. Each spine will drop off and a new one will grow in its place.

The adorable creatures have very weak eye sight and largely rely on their sense of smell and hearing to hunt for food and find shelter. They have an unusually long nose which helps them sniff out any sources of food when foraging. Hedgehogs are usually solitary creatures and pair up only to mate, after which the male will separate from his new family afterward and will have no part in rearing the young.

 

How Can You Help?

Make your garden hedgehog friendly!

There are plenty of little things you can do to make a big difference in helping our spiky garden visitors! Here are some tips for making your garden hedgehog friendly:

  • Add a gap to your fence (about 13cm x 13cm) to allow hedgehogs access to your garden (a hedgehog gate can reinforce and strengthen this hole).
  • Provide a safe place for them to rest with a hedgehog house.
  • Offer a tasty meal that will keep the hedgehogs coming back to your garden! See our full range of hedgehog food here.
  • Try to avoid using harmful chemicals and pesticides in your garden.
  • If you have a pond, consider adding a means for hedgehogs to escape should they fall in.
  • Keep netting and anything that a hedgehog could get tangled up in off the ground, which can cause starvation as the hedgehog is unable to escape to find food. Simply rolling up the net after use can benefit. Keeping netting 20-30cm off the ground when in use will allow a hedgehog to pass underneath with ease.
  • Keep rubbish bags off the ground, since hedgehogs could climb in looking for food if left unattended.

 

More Resources

Ongoing petitions to help hedgehogs include the Hedgehog Highway campaign.  The campaign aims to raise awareness of the damage new homes do and in particular – the fences in the gardens.  All of the land that hedgehogs used to be able to roam free on, suddenly has lots of new gardens that are often inaccessible to hedgehogs.  It’s a quick fix too, by cutting small holes new fences, hedgehogs can roam from garden to garden safely.  You can find out more about this here.

Take a look at The British Hedgehog Preservation Society website for information and advice.

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3 comments

  1. I have had hedgehogs visiting my garden for four years but this year for some unknown reason they came in March April and I have not seen any since July. I have cameras in the garden and I kept putting out their food for a few weeks in case they return but so far no luck. I just hope they return next spring.

  2. I have got a hedgehog house and I have 2 hedgehog ‘s that come every night for there food , I have had them for over a year, they come in at the same time, I put a camera in , they don’t half go through some food , a friend does it for me when we are on holiday,

  3. we are so lucky we have a family of hedgehogs in our comunnal garden in Devon they live in our log pile and we see them most nights scurrying around our large garen we have not ound anywhere near so many snails and slugs this year so far. they love the spikey food. and meal worms.