The week has been trending on all major social media platforms, but it didn’t stop there even news broadcasters and TV channels have had special programs on for our favourite ball of spikes.
As of 2019, the hedgehog population has been on a very steep decline, with rural areas seeing a decline of nearly 50%. Many factors are to blame for this decline, ranging from loss of habitat, increased predator numbers and a large number are lost to road traffic. We are partly to blame in terms of fencing them off and setting clear boundaries. The hedgehogs are great friends in the garden as they will eat insects and other small critters that are typically a problem for our lawns and vegetables. So what can we do to help these little guys out?
Creating a hedgehog highway
This is a great and simple idea, all that needs to be done is to allow hedgehogs to roam between gardens. Simply cut a hole the size of a CD in your fence where they can easily access the entrance, this allows them to walk freely in your neighbours garden and also in yours. With more movement comes more food and safety giving them a better advantage of surviving.
Beating the summer sun
Leave a bowl of water out but put small rocks in the bowl to prevent the water evaporating quickly. Dehydration in hedgehog was a leading cause of death in the summer of 2018.
Check the area
Before handling any treatments, mowing or strimming check the area for any hedgehogs as you don’t want to accidentally cause any harm to one. Cover up any drains or large holes that could be a problem for any who are wandering around, if one were to fall in then unless you find them they will more than likely be stuck there.
They are also known to take shelter in mounds of leaves or even a bonfire pile. Now before you start prodding into the leaves with a fork or light up that bonfire, please check that you have no critters living inside.
Create a small home
Now, this won’t be for everyone but giving a hedgehog a little house to stay in is a great way of keeping them safe. All you need is a box and tunnel, the hedgehog will do the rest but putting down some straw/dry leaves is a nice touch. Ensure to allow easy access into the main box but keep the height of the tunnel around 13cm high so other animals have less of a chance of getting in. You are able to buy some premade hedgehog homes online to save you time.