How to help hedgehogs at home

Hedgehogs are at home in our gardens and can provide hours of entertainment for children. Children love to watch hedgehogs, whether it be climbing the fence to reach some cat food, or just snuffling around looking for slugs and other invertebrates. Unfortunately many people who enjoy seeing hedgehogs on their properties also find it frustrating when the animals are forced to visit their compost bins for a snack.

Hedgehog Problems – what can you do to help?

– Do not use slug pellets or other pesticides that can poison hedgehogs and other wildlife.  Use organic alternatives instead. See our leaflet on garden pesticides for more information.

– Ensure that compost bins have a strong lid and cannot be knocked over.

– Put out food for hedgehogs on special occasions, such as overnight during a cold spell or on Bonfire Night where possible. This is very helpful if you want to encourage them to stay in, or close by, your garden as they will not have to leave in search of food.

– Make a Hedgehog Home – this is great fun for children as well as helping hedgehogs! Find out more about how you can build your own here .

– Provide good habitats for wildlife such as trees and shrubs to provide cover, nearby ponds or other water sources, logs, compost heaps to provide shelter and places for animals to nest.

– Never pick up a hedgehog you find in the garden or on the road as they will hiss and curl up their spines – this is how they protect themselves against predators. It is also very tiring for them trying to move with an adult hanging on to them. Instead, put them at the bottom of the fence they are climbing (or on top if they are on top) and they will make their own way home.

Hedgehogs are a common sight in British gardens, and children love to watch them as they forage for food. Unfortunately, many people who enjoy seeing hedgehogs also find it frustrating when the animals are forced to visit their compost bins for a snack. You can help by putting food out for hedgehogs on special occasions, making a Hedgehog Home, providing good habitats for wildlife near your home, and never picking up a hedgehog you find in the garden or on the road.

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