It’s Hedgehog Awareness Week!
The British Hedgehog Preservation Society organise this campaign every year in order to highlight the problems facing hedgehogs and to encourage people to help them. It’s very easy to make your gardens hog-friendly, and with hedgehog numbers declining it is more important than ever to support them.
To help share the hog-love, here is a list of things you can do to help hedgehogs survive through the seasons! I’ve illustrated them for extra clarification…
Make a Hog Home
If you can’t afford to buy a taylor-made home, it’s easy to make your own! Leave a sheltered corner of your garden free for hedgehogs by gathering leaves and garden litter. Leave a few gaps under fences so that hedgehogs can travel safely between gardens.
Glug your Slugs
Hedgehogs are excellent natural pest-controllers but slug-pellets can be fatal to them. If your slugs are really ruining the lettuces, leave dishes of beer out in the garden. These traps will attract pests, who will drink the beer and eventually drown in a drunken stupor. A kinder death and a safe hog meal.
Food Glorious Food
You can supplement their natural diet of worms and beetles by putting out dishes of meat-based pet food, minced meat or crunchy cat biscuits. Contrary to belief, cow’s milk can be harmful to hedgehogs, but they will greatly appreciate a few shallow dishes of water dotted around the garden.
Slow Down for Wildlife
Everyone has seen squashed hedgehogs on the side of the road, but these can be avoided simply by driving slowly and carefully. Look out for hogs crossing the road, and if it’s safe to stop, help them across by gently picking them up and placing them safely in the direction they were headed.
Beware of Bonfires
Piles of leaf litter and compost in the garden are perfect homes for sleeping hedgehogs. If you are planning on burning your pile, try not to build it until the day. Otherwise, be sure to carefully move your pile away from its resting place to ensure hedgehogs wake up and scurry away.
Hedgehogs love swimming, and may find themselves in ponds and streams. Make sure they are able to get out when they need to by providing ramps, half-submerged rocks or chicken wire for them to climb out onto the bank.
There is plenty more information on the BHPS website here. Compassionate celebs John ‘Boycie’ Challis and Hugh Warwick are among supporters of the Society. Please consider joining or donating to the BHPS here!