Hedgehogs in the garden?
Check out our top tips to help these spiky critters thrive…
If you’re lucky enough to find hedgehogs in the garden, there are lots of helpful ways to help them feel at home! The spiky little critters have declined rapidly in the UK over recent decades, and getting the family together to protect your locals can be a rewarding and educational experience for everyone.
But what do you feed hedgehogs? Where do they live? How can you keep them safe? No fear! We’re here to help…
What to feed hedgehogs
- – Leave out cat or dog food. Whether it’s tinned or biscuits, hedgehogs love our favourite pets’ food! If the hedgehog is especially young and small, soak the biscuits in water first.
- – Always leave out clean plates. Make sure to replace any food that hasn’t been eaten and wash dishes with hot and soapy water to reduce the spread of diseases.
Check out Nat Geo Kids’ fantastic facts about hedgehogs for some awe-inspiring information you can share with your kids!
- – Avoid foods like milk and bread. These are difficult for hedgehogs to digest and can cause health problems.
- – If your garden visitors become regulars, consider buying hedgehog food. While you might not find these snacks at supermarkets, wildlife suppliers usually sell it or can point you in the right direction.
Making a hedgehog-friendly garden
Build a hedgehog hotel
Similar to huge bug hotels, hedgehog hotels are specially designed shelters for hedgehogs to rest in. They’re easy to create and range from fancy-looking hedgehog mansions to fun, fit-for-purpose log piles with lots of places for hogs to hide. So whether you’re a DIY lover or loather, you can still make a happy home for hedgehogs in the garden! Check out Hedgehog Street for more information.
Always check for hedgehogs before mowing your lawn.
Hedgehogs, as the name suggests, enjoy hiding in hedges and longer grass. Make sure to check before you trim to avoid disturbing or hurting them!
Build a hedgehog highway
If your neighbours are as welcoming to hedgehogs as you, why not suggest creating a hedgehog highway to link your gardens? These are small cut-outs, a bit like tiny cat flaps, that offer easy access through fences for hedgehogs as they travel in search of food and mates.
Always check your shed.
Hedgehogs like to explore, so they might have a nose around in your shed. If your shed door has been open, remember to double check there’s not a hedgehog hiding in there before you lock up!
Be a gentle giant.
Most of all, remember to be quiet around any hedgehogs you come across. While they do have spikes, you’re so much bigger and scarier to them! Observe the hogs from a distance, giving them space to go about their nocturnal activities – and if for some reason you need to handle one, make sure you use gloves and move slowly.