A National report shows that hedgehog numbers have dropped by 25% in just 10 years. This has resulted in hedgehogs being included on the Biodiversity Action Plan’s list of species which need extra protection.
A few simple actions can help turn around the future of our prickly friends.
What you can do
The gardener’s friend, hedgehogs helpfully like
to eat slugs and snails, but also eat insects so anything you can do to attract more bugs to your garden will help hedgehogs.
Hedgehogs can forage over a wide area so it helps if you leave space for them to get under fences, or ideally plant flowering hedges.
Slug pellets can kill hedgehogs so for a safer, more natural method you could try beer traps or the skin of half a grapefruit placed on the ground like a dome.
You can build your own Hedgehog box or buy a ready-made one; it should be sited in a quiet spot hidden by ground-covering plants, low shrubs or tree branches.
Or build a wood pile, as these are great for a variety of wildlife and can make great spots for hedgehogs to build their nests.
Hedgehogs have been known to fall into ponds so provide a shallow ramp to allow any clumsy individuals to escape. They can also get caught in loose netting and are quite tricky to remove.
There is a lot we can do to help these lovely animals – with a few tweaks to the way we mange our gardens we can help the population recover.
Hedgehog image courtesy of Peter Trimming