We’ve all had one in our garden at some point. You, or your children, see the hedgehog and want to rush out with some food and water for your spikey visitor, just like any good host would!
Did you know that our nocturnal visitors are in decline? So far there’s no evidence to explain why but you can encourage them to survive! A world without the occasional hedgehog wondering into the garden just seems odd.
The first thing you must do to help is STOP feeding them bread and milk. They’re no good for hedgehogs! If you’re going to feed a hedgehog use a saucer of cat or dog meat or meat in gravy. Never give them fish or fish flavoured food. A hedgehog will also eat cat biscuits, dried mealworms, sunflower hearts and dried fruit.
You can also make your garden a little more hedgehog friendly to help this species survive. They’re not as resilient as Sonic the Hedgehog has us believe!
The easiest thing you can do is to steer clear of chemical pesticides. This harms, and in some cases kills, hedgehogs. These tiny mammals will eat the slugs, snails and beetles in your garden so there’s no need for chemical insect repellent.
There’s so much more we could do for the hedgehog than be its short stay hotel for the night!
If you’ve got an area of your garden which is leafy, or could become leafy, let it do just that. It’ll be a great place for hedgehogs to find food, sleep during the day and hibernate during winter months. In this area of the garden you won’t need to do much, just plant and let it grow. Occasionally you may have to cut a bush or two back but the cuttings can drop to the ground or be placed around the base of the plant. This will not only give the hedgehog somewhere to sleep during the day or hibernate during the winter but will encourage the insects they like to eat.
If you come across an injured hedgehog or one that’s moving around during the day it’s important that you contact your local RSPCA or hedgehog sanctuary. If you don’t not know who or where these are your local council will be able to provide you with the information, that or a quick Google search!
For more information on helping the hedgehog please see the links below: