We were disheartened to learn that the hedgehog has been included in the first red list for British mammals. It is important that we do what we can to help the declining population, so we thought this would be a good opportunity to share with you some ways we can all help hedgehogs, especially in our gardens.
Gardens are a popular habitat for our native hedgehogs but sadly, many modern gardens are not very hedgehog friendly. It is so important to remove hazards that can cause harm to our prickly visitors. Pesticides like slug pellets, barbed wire, netting, bonfires, some wood preservers, and gardening tools like strimmers are all potentially fatal to hedgehogs.
Take a walk around your garden and look out for any cosy, dry, sheltered places where a hedgehog might like to nest. Thick hedges, dense brambles, scrub patches and hedgehog houses are all popular spots. Consider planting hedges, as these make ideal shelter and provide food for lots of wildlife!
As well as putting out a shallow dish of fresh water and some tinned dog or cat food every night, you can help hedgehogs find food by leaving some areas of wilderness with long grass, dead wood and leaves so hedgehogs can forage for bugs and grubs.
Hedgehogs seek well-connected habitats so as well as making your gardens hedgehog friendly, it is important to make sure hedgehogs have access to neighbouring gardens. Try create gaps in your fences (around the size of a CD) and encourage your neighbours to do the same!
With the recent hot weather we have been having, it is important to put out water for hedgehogs every evening and it will help all the other wild animals in your garden too!
We urge you to share these tips with your friends and family! If you would like more information, please take a look at our hedgehog fact sheet: https://www.sttiggywinkles.org.uk/hedgehog-fact-sheet/