What you can do to help hedgehogs

Hedgehogs are not only super cute they play a vital part in our ecosystem and help gardeners preserve their fruit and veg by munching on pests, such as beetles and caterpillars.

They are called an indicator species in the conservation world because they feed on soil invertebrates so a decline in hedgehogs also indicates a decline in the quality of our environment and the health of the natural world.

But sadly, our population of hedgies is shrinking, in the UK we have lost a third of all our hedgehogs in the last ten years. The good news is that you can help preserve our spiky friends by following a few simple steps in your garden.

If you don’t have a garden, you can still help by spreading the hedgehoggy word and sharing the tips with someone who has. Alternatively, you can donate here to the British Hedgehog Preservation Society.

Five easy ways you can help hedgehogs:

1. Make a Hedgehog Highway

To make sure hedgehogs can access your garden, create a ‘Hedgehog Highway’, a 5” x 5” (13 x 13cm) square gap in the bottom of fences or walls. Once created, you can log these on the BIG Hedgehog Map so you can see where other holes are and how many hedgehogs have been sighted in your area.

2. Build a Hedgie Home

Create a cosy home for hedgehogs and their babies (hoglets) in your garden. You can either create a safe shelter from piling up blocks of dead wood and fallen leaves or get your tools and build a Hedgehog House, as recommended by the BHPS.

3. Look before you cut

Make sure you check areas carefully before mowing or cutting grass. Hedgehogs love to snuggle down in foliage and thick piles of grass, so make sure you look around before you begin cutting to make sure the area is hog-free.

4. Check before digging or burning

Move wood and piles of rubbish to a new site on the day you are burning it. Also, check piles of leaves and compost before digging into it to make sure no hedgies are sleeping in it.

5. Leave out some water and food

Offer drink and nosh to the dried out hedgehogs who pass through your garden. Put water in a shallow dish (milk should never be left out for them!) and you can leave out some hedgehog food, meaty cat or dog food.

5 interesting hedgehog facts:

  1. A baby hedgehog is called a hoglet.

2. A group of hedgehogs is called an array.

3. Hedgehogs are lactose intolerant.

4. Hedgehogs used to be called urchins which led to the naming of sea urchins.

5. There are 15 different species of hedgehog in the world.

Follow the adventures of Pins and Nettie

If you love hedgehogs as much as we do, why not join the adventures of Pins and Nettie on the Hopster app.

This charming show explores shyness amongst preschoolers and tells kids that it’s okay to be cautious in new situations and around new people.

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