Hedgehogs need us and here’s how you can help!
Last week, local Inspector Laura went to rescue the little hedgehog in our post photos. He had become entangled in a child’s football net and couldn’t get out without help! All types of netting can cause problems for wildlife so it is essential they are placed and stored correctly. Thankfully, this little heggie was unscathed and Laura was able to let him go as soon as possible. Off he trundled into the shrubbery with a tale to tell!
Hedgehogs are amongst our most beloved native mammals but sadly, they are in decline. However, there are ways you can help and even encourage our spikey friends into your garden.
Tips on how to help!
- Provide water and food – Like all living things, hedgehogs need water to survive. A shallow dish will allow the animal to drink, especially when they weather is dry. You can buy specific hedgehog food, both wet and dry. However, cat and dog food can also be offered as long as it is not fish based.
- Build a hedgehog house – You can buy these ready made but a home made house will be appreciated just as much. Your house need not be complicated, a paving slab resting on bricks that is high enough for a hedgehog to enter, loosely stuffed with leaves and straw with be very attractive to house hunting heggies!
- Eliminate hazards – Hedgehogs are inquisitive. This can lead to trouble if for instance they decide to investigate a small space, eg old pipe or thin gap between walls. They can swim but if they fall into a pond and can’t get out, they will drown. Of course, like Inspector Laura’s little prickly pal, they get entangled in netting. Therefore, it’s best to plug or cover potential hazards like drains, open pipes. Make sure your pond has a ramp so they hedgehog can get out easily. With netting, put goals away when finished with and place garden mesh out of hedgehog height.
- Take care when gardening. As well as nets as mentioned, common gardening practices can pose problems. Slug pellets will kill a hedgehog if ingested. Should you be lucky enough to have a resident heggie then you have your own slug/snail pest controller as they love grubs and insects! If you tidy up debris and decide to have a bonfire then make sure there are no critters sheltering in the pile before lighting. Better still, relocate the pile before striking a match, that way you will disturb anything hiding!
The British Hedgehog Preservation Society has lots more information available on these fascinating animals. We will leave you with the image, thanks to Inspector Laura, of her rescued hedgehog trundling off.