30th April – 6th May – How you can help
It’s Hedgehog Awareness week and these little critters need all the help they can get as sadly their numbers are in decline. This is because of a combination of reasons, use of pesticides, destructions of their favoured habitats and man made hazards. Hedgehogs are amongst the most common wild animal admissions into RSPCA care but there are things you can do to help them out.
- Stop using slug pellets and other pesticides. Hedgehogs love to munch on creepy crawlies. Poisoning invertebrates and other ‘pests’ means heggies will consume the poison too causing illness or even death.
- Leave parts of your garden ‘wild’. Log, wood and leaf piles mean hedgehogs have somewhere to shelter and find a source of food too.
- Store and use garden/leisure netting responsibly. If you have been playing footie put the goals away so spiky visitors or other wildlife don’t become entangled. The same goes for nets used to protect plants, keep a close eye on them.
- Other hazards to be aware of are open drains. Hedgehogs are often found wedged in a drainpipe whose cover has been misplaced.
- Make hedgehog ‘highways’ by putting a hole in the bottom of solid fencing or gates. Heggies have surprisingly large territories so safe, easy access is a real help.
- If you have a pond, make sure there’s an escape route in case a hedgehog falls in. A sloped edge or pile of submerged stones means they can make their way out.
You can find out more about these fascinating creatures on the British Hedgehog Preservation Society Website.