Make Your Garden Hedgehog Friendly…

There are several inexpensive and easy things that you can do to attract hedgehogs into your garden. However, it is very important that you provide a safe and friendly environment for them.

FEEDING

Feeding can encourage hedgehogs to stay in your garden, provide a shallow dish of dog or cat food (not fish based). Dry biscuits or tinned food can be given. A feeding station may prevent cats and other animals eating the food. There are a range of designs online, which can be easily replicated, at no or minimal cost. Specific hedgehog food can also be purchased from Ark Wildlife and Spikes World. It is also IMPORTANT to provide a shallow dish of WATER, particularly in summer months.

DO NOT FEED BREAD AND MILK! PROVIDE CAT OR DOG FOOD AND WATER ONLY

HEDGEHOG HOMES

There are a range of types and designs available for purchase from garden centres and online retailers such as ARK Wildlife, however homes can also be easily made. There are no guarantees that hedgehogs will nest in homes provided but if situated in a quiet area tucked in under bushes or undergrowth and left undisturbed visitors may decide to take up residence. Designs and advice on situating can be found on the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and Gardeners World websites.

ACCESS

Hedgehogs roam large distances of up to 2 miles a night to source a varied diet and find mates therefore enclosed gardens are not suitable for hedgehogs. They are good climbers and can scramble up banks and hedges but there needs to be easy entry and exit points for them. Take a look at the Hedgehog Street Initiative.

POOLS & PONDS

Ponds and pools need to be easy to escape from with ramps, logs or stones partially submerged if there is not a sloping edge or plastic coated wire over the side. Hedgehogs are good swimmers but plastic rims to ponds often prevent them from scrambling out of the water, keeping water levels topped up and ensuring there is material for them to climb up and out on can reduce the risk of them becoming trapped in the water.

DRAINS

Each year we receive numerous hedgehogs that have become trapped in drains, worn their claws back trying to climb out and are hypothermic or have pneumonia. It is important to keep drain holes covered and check uncovered drains regularly. Trenches from building or garden works can present a similar problem, providing an exit or checking regularly is the best course of action.

NETTING

Keep gardening netting, such as pea netting, a foot above the ground to reduce the risk of entanglement. Similarly, lift football goal netting off the ground overnight.

BONFIRES

Check bonfires thoroughly or if possible move them before lighting to ensure there are no nesting or hibernating hedgehogs inside.

SLUG PELLETS & PESTICIDES

Encouraging slug eaters such as hedgehogs and frogs into your garden is of course the best method of control. Slug pellets and pesticides can kill hedgehogs, try using wildlife friendly alternatives. If you must use pellets and/or pesticides, then use them as sparingly as possible and pick up dead slugs and snails.

WILD AREAS

Super tidy gardens are not very suitable for hedgehogs, leave an area of your garden wild with piles of leaves and natural debris to be used as nesting material.

Take Great Care When Gardening …

STRIMMERS and MOWERS can mutilate hedgehogs, we see countless strimmer injuries and have had cases where entire litters of hoglets have been maimed or killed.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE CHECK AREAS CAREFULLY BEFORE YOU STRIM

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Help Us to Help Hedgehogs!

It is only through the generosity of the public that we are able to continue our work rescuing, rehabilitating and conserving hedgehogs in the UK.

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