WILD: Making your WILD garden hedgehog-friendly
Hedgehogs are the perfect garden companions: they munch on slugs, swim in ponds, and they can be great fun to watch! Their spikes make them easily recognisable, and they can be found wandering through several different gardens every night.
If you want to get the best chance of attracting these animals in your garden, here are a few simple steps to follow:
Step 1 – Mind the gap: Hedgehogs need a route in and out of your garden so that they can find food throughout the night. Hedges are great, but if you have a fence or wall then there should be a gap of about 12cm for the hedgehog to squeeze through.
Step 2 - WILD is best: Dedicate a corner of your garden to hedgehogs. Leave it wild with piles of leaves, dry wood, branches and even compost. Wild garden areas give hedgehogs the chance to find shelter, bring up young and hibernate.
Step 3 – Swimming ponds: Ponds can provide a great place for hedgehogs to grab a quick drink and even swim! But a swimming pool without steps can be impossible to escape, so make sure there is an easy exit, ramp or steps out so that hedgehogs don’t drown.
Step 4 – Food & drink: Hedgehogs get hungry and can travel 1-2km each night in search of food. Milk and bread can make hedgehogs sick, so stick to a shallow dish of fresh water, meat-based pet food or chopped unsalted peanuts.
Step 5 – Protect the hogs: Let an adult know that hedgehogs are vulnerable creatures and it is important to look out for them in your garden. Check for hogs when lighting bonfires or moving piles of leaves. Keep nets 0.5m above the ground, so that hedgehogs don’t get tangled, and avoid using pesticides and slug pellets.