Our hedgehog population is sadly in decline but there are many things we can do to make gardens a safe haven for hedgehogs. Hibernating all winter from November to March/April, they’ll now be starting to move about so it’s an ideal time to get your garden ready.
Adult hedgehogs can walk up to 1-2 km per night in their search for food – they eat slugs, snails, beetles, earthworms and caterpillars. Having a range of plants in your garden will attract all these for hedgehogs to feast on – hedgehogs make great natural pest controllers!
What we can do to help hedgehogs in our gardens:
- Make a hole 13cm x 13cm in your garden fence or wall so hedgehogs can access your garden.
- Make ponds safe with a ramp or piled stones so hedgehogs can get out easily.
- Leave a corner of your garden/allotment a little wild to make it attractive for hedgehogs.
- Tidy away unused netting etc and keep your garden/allotment free of litter so hedgehogs don’t get tangled up in it (as they are prone to!) When in use, try to keep netting about 30cm from the ground so hedgehogs can walk underneath safely.
- Leave out food and water.
- Avoid using chemical pesticides and insecticides. Instead opt for organic/friendly slug pellets and other products.
- Strimmers can mutilate hedgehogs. Check before you strim!!
- Check, or better still move a wood pile before burning to make sure there are no hedgehogs hibernating or nesting at the bottom.
- Make a hedgehog house.
The Wildlife Trust Hedgehog facts, helpsheet & activities – great to use with children!
Register on Hedgehog Street to make your neighbourhood hedgehog-friendly