There are many things you can do to ensure your garden is hedgehog ready.
- Encourage a safe passage to and from your garden and your neighbours by creating a small hole at the base of fences and borders. A hole measuring 13cm diameter is about right.
- Leave a quiet area of your garden uncultivated and do not remove leaf pile so that hedgehogs can make use of this area for nesting or sleep. A wood pile is another good alternative.
- Specific hedgehog houses can be purchased, if you have one place in a quiet and shady area of your garden.
- Avoid using chemicals such as slug pellets and pesticides. If hedgehogs eat slugs or insects that have been in contact with chemicals such as these it can be fatal.
- Always check the borders of your garden before using a strimmer to ensure no hedgehogs are resting there. A hedgehog nest can be hard to spot, as can be seen in the photo from Spikey Critters Hedgehog Rescue, so please check carefully.
- If you have a pond in your garden, make sure there is a way out for any hedgehogs that inadvertently fall in. A few partially submerged rocks around the edges of the pond, or a ramp, will help if the pond does not have a gentle sloping side to it.
- Prepare a feeding station to keep cats off the food you leave out for hedgehogs. You can easily make one yourself (loads of videos on the internet) or buy a specific feeding station. If you already have one try to give them a spring clean.
- The current spell of mild weather may bring some hedgehogs out of hibernation and their natural food sources may be in short supply, so putting out food and water is vital for them. Brambles Crunchy and Meaty Hedgehog Food are perfect, along with fresh water.
Brambles products can be found on our stockists’ page.
- Keep an eye out for any hedgehogs needing help, any seen out in the day at this time of year need to be seen by a Rescue as soon as possible. Hedgehogs hibernate during very cold spells, generally between November and mid-March although milder weather over recent years means they are often still quite active and it is good to leave food and water out during the winter months.
- Foods to avoid feeding hedgehogs are:
- Mealworms, peanuts, sunflower hearts – these are very high in phosphorus which can lead to Metabolic Bone Disease
- Foods with added sugar or honey, and also, food with dried fruit as the process of drying the fruit concentrates sugar to very high levels. Dried fruits can also get stuck in the hogs teeth causing all sorts of problems for them.
- Foods with high fat content (over 15%).