It’s national hedgehog week. How can we help this iconic delight of British wildlife?

Hedgehogs are an iconic part of this country’s wildlife, but how many people have regular hedgehogs visiting their gardens? We can help this severely threatened species by making a few changes in our gardens.
Young hedgehog looks at the camera
Young hedgehog looks at the camera

What can we do to help hedgehogs?

1. Get together with your community and create a hedgehog highway. Simply cut CD sized holes into the bottom of all your fences, this allows hedgehogs free access to everyone’s garden. Hedgehogs can wonder up to 2 km a night in search of food and mates!
2. Wildlife ponds are great for all manner of wildlife, including the wonderful hedgehog! You can either get one installed, or if you have one already then please make sure wildlife has a safe exit route from your pond. You can easily make exit ramps using a length of wood and some wire mesh.
3. Keep and/or create a wild area within your garden. Hedgehogs need a place to feel safe, snooze and raise their family. Please consider creating a wild space within your garden.
4. Add a hedgehog house to your garden. Give hedgehogs a home and install a delightful little hedgehog house.
5. Leave your grass longer this year! Long grass provides a safer spot for hedgehogs and other wildlife to meander through at night. Plus it will save you hours of time mowing the lawn!
6. You can leave food out for hedgehogs, just never give them milk! Some foods which hedgehogs enjoy are ….
  • Cooked potatoes
  • Chopped nuts
  • Dried meal worms
  • Sunflower hearts
  • Sultanas
  • Specialised hedgehog foods

What to avoid in your garden?

  1. Never use slug pellets or other damaging chemicals. Hedgehogs eat the poisoned slugs, which can prove fatal to the poor little hedgehog.
  2. Check compost bins before turning, you never know when a hedgehog may be napping in your compost heap!
  3. Check long grass before cutting (or ideally leave your grass longer!)
  4. Make ponds safe for hedgehogs! Check your pond to make sure the sides are not to steep and that wildlife has a safe route out of your pond and/or swimming pool.
  5. Cover paddling pools over at night.
  6. Never leave out milk for hedgehogs! Milk can cause severe diarrhoea as hedgehogs are lactose intolerant!
Hedgehog on the grass
Hedgehog on the grass