It is hedgehog time | Ledbury Reporter

IT was National Hedgehog Day on February 2 where the little prickly animals were celebrated.

On the Hedgehog Street website there is loads of good advice on how to make sure your garden is hedgehog friendly.

Here are the top 10 tips on how to ensure you are doing your bit for hedgehogs:

1. Link your gardens. Hedgehogs roam between 1-2km each night during their active season. It’s therefore critical that they can access a wide range of gardens. 13 x 13cm (5 x 5”) holes in walls or fences will let hedgehogs through but be too small for most pets. If you’ve made a hole in your garden wall or fence please visit www.hedgehogstreet.org to put it on our map.

2. Make your pond safe. Hedgehogs are adept swimmers, but if they can’t climb out of steep-sided ponds or pools they will drown. Use a pile of stones, a piece of wood or some chicken wire to create a simple ramp.

3. Create a wild corner. Let the plants go mad in a corner of your garden, and don’t cut them back in winter and hedgehogs might nest here. They’ll also benefit from the abundant insects. Use branches to add structure.

4. Deal with netting and litter. Hedgehogs are prone to getting tangled. Polystyrene cups, plastic, and elastic bands are all common offenders. Replace netting with a rigid structure or use a thick cordage and keep taut. Sports and garden netting should be tied up or stored inside when not in use.

5. Put out food and water. Hedgehogs really benefit from extra food, using it as a supplement to their natural diet. Meaty cat or dog food and hedgehog food are both suitable. Water can also be scarce at certain times of the year and is the only thing you should give them to drink.

6. Stop using chemicals. Lawn treatments reduce worm populations. Pesticides, insecticides and slug pellets are toxic and reduce hedgehogs’ creepy crawly prey. They are all unnecessary in a healthy, well managed garden.

7. Check before strimming. Hedgehogs will not run away from the sound of a mower or strimmer – check before you cut and avoid causing horrific injuries or death. Single hedgehogs are easily moved, but use gloves! Moving a hedgehog family is more complicated and ideally they should be left undisturbed

8. Be careful with bonfires. Piles of debris are irresistible to a hedgehog looking for somewhere to hibernate or nest – build it on the day of burning or move the pile on the day of burning to avoid a tragic end.

9. Make a home for hedgehogs. A log pile is one of the best features for encouraging all kinds of wildlife – and so easy to make. It will encourage insects and provide nesting opportunities all year around. Alternatively, you can make your own DIY hedgehog house.

10. Become a hedgehog champion. Register on Hedgehog Street and join our army of over 60,000 volunteers. Visit: hedgehogstreet.org.uk

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.