With hedgehog populations declining in the UK, why not help these charming creatures by making your garden more hedgehog friendly? Nocturnal animals that build their nests in thick undergrowth, under a shed or in piles of leaves, hedgehogs eat slugs, snails, beetles and millipedes, thereby reducing the number of pests in your garden.
Feeding and sheltering hedgehogs
When it comes to nourishing hedgehogs, the priority is fresh water, so putting out a shallow bowl at night is really helpful. You can feed hedgehogs crushed dog biscuits or some tinned dog and cat food, but avoid any fish products and consider buying a specialist hedgehog food. Remember that milk is bad for hedgehogs, as they can’t digest it properly.
For shelter, you might want to go all out and build a full hedgehog house, but the truth is they just need a roof and some privacy. A piece of wood leant against a wall, with some leaves and bark for flooring, provides a good spot for a hedgehog to bed down.
Being hedgehog aware
Hedgehogs are inquisitive animals, and they seek out quiet, dark places, so check under hedges, bushes and your Garland garden furniture covers before mowing your lawn. Also be vigilant about checking bonfires before lighting and compost heaps before digging, as these are both especially attractive spaces for hedgehogs.
Try to find a natural alternative to slug pellets, as these are poisonous for hedgehogs, and you’re fortunate enough to attract these animals into your garden, they’ll keep your slug population down by eating them.
Follow these steps and look out for tell-tale footprints and tracks on your lawn as evidence that you’ve had some hedgehog visitors.