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:
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!’