22nd August 2017
Joey came to us back in May, he was found alone under a garden shed after it was dismantled and there was no sign of his mum. With Joey now going back to the wild, here are a few things you can do to help him and his prickly friends.
Leave an area of your garden ‘wild’ – hedgehog homes should be placed in a quiet and shaded area of the garden where they will not be disturbed.
If you have a pond, please make sure it has an escape route. At least one side of the pond should slope gently, you could use stones or a ramp made of chicken wire.
Cut a small hole in your garden fence (encourage neighbours to do the same) to allow hedgehogs to roam freely from one garden to another.
Always provide a shallow dish of water. Hedgehogs like meaty cat or dog food (dry or tinned).
If you’re using a strimmer always check the area beforehand in case any hedgehogs are in the long grass, as every year many suffer terrible injuries from this – all of which could be avoided with a quick check.
Avoid using slug pellets – many contain metaldehyde which will kill a range of wildlife, including hedgehogs.
If using netting on your plants, please make sure it’s at least a foot above the ground, otherwise hedgehogs can become entangled. Tennis and goal post netting – please make sure these are put away or rolled up out of harm’s way.
For anyone planning a bonfire, the easiest way to ensure that there will be no hedgehogs in the pile is to build it on the day you are going to light it. If this isn’t possible then you could dismantle it and move to clear ground before lighting. Alternatively there are greener ways to dispose of your garden waste, consider composting or recycling your garden waste at your local refuse centre.
Finally, remember that hedgehogs are nocturnal, so if you see one out in the day it is more than likely in need of help. For help or advice please contact your local wildlife hospital, vets or The British Hedgehog Preservation Society on 01584 890801 (https://www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk)