How to Help the Hedgehogs

At Woodlands Animal Sanctuary we receive hundreds of hedgehogs a year whose injuries and poor health could have been prevented.

Hedgehogs Do's

You can help the UK's hedgehogs at home by making your garden hedgehog friendly and by following these easy steps:

Create a Hedgehog Highway

Hedgehogs can roam up to 2miles in a single night. Making sure that hedgehogs can get in and out of your garden safely can prevent them having to travel across dangerous roads. You can help by making a small hole in your garden fence around 13cm square so that they can travel from garden to garden. Encourage your neighbours to do the same to create a hedgehog highway!

Always check bonfires and leaves

Hedgehogs will seek out piles of wood as hibernating or resting areas as they are dry and warm. Every year many hedgehogs are injured or die when trapped inside burning bonfires. Always check piles of wood and leaves before lighting a bonfire or using a mower or strimmer to ensure there are no hedgehogs nesting in the pile.

Provide Food & Water

Providing food and water 365 days a year is a great way to ensure hedgehogs get everything they need. Many areas of the UK no longer provide enough natural food to sustain hedgehog populations and your support may be a lifeline. Setting up your own feed station can be a fun garden project and will protect food from other animals and the weather. Not sure what to feed a hedgehog? You can purchase high quality hedgehog food from our onsite shop

Make ponds Hedgehog friendly

A garden pond can be a great home for a number of aquatic species and an important year round water source for lots of wildlife. Although hedgehogs can swim they will eventually become exhausted and die if they cannot get out of the pond. Make sure your pond has an escape route for hedgehogs by creating a raised corner from rocks or leaving an exit ramp

Make your garden safe

Hedgehogs can fall into grids and drains and easily get trapped if they aren’t covered. Ensure all your drains are covered, if you cannot source a proper cover, scrunched up chicken wire can help. Hedgehogs can also become tangled in garden netting and football nets, ensuring these are stored away or are high enough for hedgehogs to roam underneath will help to prevent unwanted tangles!

Protect Hedgehogs from Pets

A hedgehog’s spikes are an amazing defensive system, however sometimes hedgehogs are unable to defend themselves if they are sick, injured or are very young. You can help by ensuring hedgehogs are safe from pets. Giving hedgehogs a warning such as noise or by switching a light on before letting out pets can help keep hedgehogs safe.

Hedgehogs Dont's

There are many misconceptions about hedgehogs, that can cause you to do more harm than good. so we have compiled a list of hedgehog dont’s to help you save hedgehogs.

Don't feed Hedgehogs Milk

Contrary to popular belief, hedgehogs are lactose intolerant. Providing a plateful of milk, although they would enjoy it can make them poorly.

Don't feed Hedgehogs Bread

Hedgehogs can find it difficult to digest any form of bread and therefore it is not appropriate to feed it to them. The best food to provide for hedgehogs is a specialist hedgehog food like the one which can be bought from our onsite shop.

Don't use Slug Pellets

Hedgehogs love eating slugs. Don’t use slug pellets in your garden as they are fatal to hedgehogs if eaten or if a hedgehog consumes a slug or snail that has eaten them. There are hedgehog friendly alternatives such as beer traps which work well.

Don't disturb a Hedgehog at Night

Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals and are most active at night. Hedgehogs that are out at night should not be disturbed unless it is clear they are in distress. Hedgehogs are also solitary animals and hedgehogs alone are nothing to be worried about.

 

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