Help the Hedgehogs!

July 10, 2012
Author: admin

Hedgehogs are in the media spotlight at the moment, as we learn that their numbers have declined by 25% over the last decade in the UK. This is partly down to the loss and fragmentation of their habitat.

If you’ve got a garden, you can help provide a habitat for them – and in return you can enjoy watching this adorable creature. We’ve teamed up with the British Hedgehog Preservation Society to outline a few tips that will help attract hedgehogs to your garden.

And why wouldn’t you want hedgehogs in your garden…

These curious creatures are keen gardeners. They’re so eager to protect your cabbages from being munched away that they eat slugs and garden pests for you. They’re not too good at mowing the lawn though – you can’t have it all.

It’s obvious we need to show some love for the hedgehog, so here are a few simple things you can do:

Go wild

A small wild patch in the corner of the garden means less work for you, but quickly becomes a paradise for a hedgehog offering food and shelter. Try planting wildflower seeds in this area to create a mini-meadow and a place for hedgehogs to rest and forage.

Put food out

Put some dog food out in our attractive hedgehog feeding bowl, and if you’re lucky you’ll see the hedgehogs come out to feed. This is a great source of energy, especially during the winter when they can’t find enough slugs and snails to keep them going. We also have a stainless steel feeding bowl in our garden wildlife hamper.

Create a safe retreat

Make sure you have a warm, protective environment for hedgehogs to rest in the daytime, and hibernate through winter. We have a range of hedgehog homes that are all sturdy, waterproof and have a predator defence tunnel to keep the hedgehogs safe. These homes give them a far greater chance of surviving hibernation.

Make ponds safe

When hedgehogs aren’t gardening, they love a dip in the pool. However, they often get stuck in the water if they can’t find a safe way out. If your pond doesn’t have sloping sides, place a plank of wood out of the water so they can trundle out safely. This will also benefit frogs and toads.

Make a log pile

Hedgehogs love foraging in piles of old wood, as they’re usually the best place to find slugs, snails, insects and worms. Stack up some wood in a corner and as it slowly rots, you’ll attract more wildlife to your garden. You’ll also help the birds, as they also need help finding extra fuel over winter.

Fay Vass, Chief Executive of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society says, ‘If you’d like to do even more to help hedgehogs, get involved in the British Hedgehog Preservation Society’s Hedgehog Street, a project we have launched in partnership with the People’s Trust for Endangered Species. We have created a special project website where you can find tips on feeding them and attracting them to your garden, as well as the opportunity to become a Hedgehog Champion!’

Environment, Shop, Sustainability

28 responses to Help the Hedgehogs!

  1. gerry says:

    i was always told to give cat food and water as bread and milk was usally given in the past

  2. Beryl says:

    W.I. Magazine suggests that there are people who form groups to care for and advise us about caring for hedgehogs. How can I contact one of these please?: I live in Surrey. Thank you.

  3. francesco patania says:

    I have a field outside my house for the past 2 days have seen loads of hedgehogs just wanted to know how i could help them been giving them water and food …

  4. Harriet says:

    Hi Francesco. How lovely to have a family of hedgehogs on your doorstep. Great that you’re keeping them fed and watered and hopefully they’ll snuffle out lots of slugs and snails too. Our friends at hedgehog street have more detailed advice about how to keep them healthy and happy. If you get a chance, please do post a photo of them on our Facebook page so we can have a look! Best, Harriet

  5. Harriet says:

    Hi Beryl. You’re absolutely right, there are hedgehog action groups up and down the country who are happy to help. Try Jayne Morgan at the Happy Hedgehog Rescue in Surrey on 01252 871 478… or more generally hedgehog street encourage groups of people to get together and advise and care for hedgehogs. Good luck! Harriet

  6. Cheryl Davies says:

    Hello, I have found a Hedgehog in the street in the daytime (this was at 3:30pm), it was very small and tired looking so I took it home and put it in a fairly big box with some hay, (hedgehog) food and water. It ate a lot of the food so it must have been hungry. It is now curled up asleep in the hay. I will keep it long enough until it is fit enough to be released.

  7. debbie says:

    I have just found a hedgehog, its half behind my gas meter box in my front garden, i am unable to see if its injured and im unsure if it is stuck there, i dont have any gloves or anything to handle it, so is there anyone i could contact who would come and look for me….im in the stockton-on-tees area,
    any advice would be helpful :)

  8. Bob Geldof says:

    I like wildlife.

  9. Ken MDonald says:

    Hello. What is your policy towards introducing hedgehogs to suitable habitats. We own a little over 3 acres of land in the Scottish Borders, which we manage very low- key. there are lots of areas of rough grass piles of branches, and hedges/ little woodland strips including some we planted about 8 years ago, between our land and the minor road. There are loads of places for hibernation, We also grow some potatoes, etc, there.some There is access to water. both a burn (stream) which never dries up, as well as a small pond. We have fruit trees and keep some bees. We do not use pesticides . I have been working in conservation for a good many years, but am supposed to be retired now. Do you provide people with rescued hedgehogs for such places. ?Early in the year? Hopoe to hear from you. Ken McDonald.

  10. Hannah says:

    Ken, can we point you in the direction of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, who are experts in this area? Good luck with your project.

  11. Rita Warwick says:

    Now I know how to eradicate their flees I would like to overwinter underweight hedgehogs. Am I needed, I live in Coventry? What is needed in a domestic house and (overgrown) garden?

  12. Hannah says:

    Rita, can we point you in the direction of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, who are experts in this area?

  13. stan lucas says:

    II have a Hedgehog (Horace) who has been
    living in my back garden since last August
    I fed him Dog food etc until he hibernated
    He has now reappeard and the feeding
    He seems to be happy but should I release him back to the fields ?

  14. Hannah says:

    Hi Stan, we suggest you contact the guys at the British Hedgehog Preservation Society about Horace!

  15. mary broadley says:

    i am a 63years lady who has moved into a house with a garden.i have a hedghog.and i love to look after it .my cat likes it also.

  16. Lesley Sprake says:

    I’ve got hedgies every night but sadly lost a few to injury and other one wasn’t sure? Got one at vets now look like been attacked by dog?? I would like to know what else can feed them on mine love, dried fruit, peanuts, fairy cake/light fruit cake, dry catfood , cat food, sunflower hearts, what other protein foods can I feed them. I’ve got more in mind the one that’s at the vets now if it returns?? Help would be good please :-)

  17. Hannah says:

    Lesley, can we point you in the direction of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, who are experts in this area?

  18. Mr K W Reynolds says:

    can you advise please we have a Hedgehog in our garden and it is starting to make a nest we have two cats and if it is going to have babies would it be better in take it to the woods by where we live please advise? would it be better in the woods by where we live please advise.sorry to trouble you

  19. Hannah says:

    Keith, can we point you in the direction of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, who are experts in this area?

  20. Julie Graddon says:

    Ive had 2 hedgehogs in my garden for a few years now ! And much to my surprise they have taken over my Tortoises wooden box. I was wandering why leon my tortoise wasnt going in his box. Much to my astonishment the hedgehogs have had 5 babies OMG !!! no wonder poor leon cant get in there !!! So it looks like i better get building another box. Ive got to admit i love to sit on my patio at nights to watch my hedgehogs tortoise and cat all walking around together what a picture it is.!!!

  21. katie blyth says:

    I have a garden from which the hedgehogs have disappeared after a long residence. Could you please give me an address locally where I can adopt two? hedgehogs. It is hard to leave just hedgehog food out in the hope that one will come as I am surrounded by cat owners.and the cats eat the food.

  22. Hannah says:

    Katie, can we point you in the direction of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, who are experts in this area?

  23. Tad Davison says:

    Living in a city, we have four regulars who visit and feed off the cat biscuits we leave out – Eric Prickles (a perversion of the name of the present Communities Secretary), Russell, and two youngsters called Spike, and Toothbrush (so named because of the curious little tuft on his head).

    They actually eat biscuits out of the same bowls as the cats, and neither party seems to mind the presence of the other.

    Yesterday evening, an old vagrant came to our back door absolutely gasping for water, doubtless because of the long dry spell. I have a video clip of me giving him water off my finger tips, after which, he seemed fully sated, and went on his way.

    I cannot stress highly enough, the need to put water out for our dwindling hedgehog population in times of low rainfall. If we are even to maintain the population we already have, we need to do everything we can to help them, and that also means giving them some form of winter shelter. So I urge any nature lover to invest in something suitable, for the sake of one of our most valuable and likeable creatures.

    Tad Davison


  24. inge says:

    Hedgehogs are the best food you ever tasted.

  25. karl schmierer says:

    I would love to help hedgehogs in our garden. The trouble is we’ve got rats here as well. How can we rid ourselves of rats without harming hedgehogs?

  26. Hannah says:

    Karl, can we point you in the direction of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, who are experts in this area?

  27. karl schmierer says:

    Hello Hannah, thanks for the advice,

  28. mark abernethy says:

    the is a billding sit stared back of my house and i have found hedgehog it looks fritond i have put it in a box with soom strw have i do the rite thing sorry about spelling

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