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
A very simple idea that lets these little guys roam between gardens. All that needs to be done is to cut a hole the size of a CD in your fence, with more movement comes more food and safety and thus giving them a better chance of survival.
Beating the summer sun
A leading killer of hedgehogs in the summer of 2018 was dehydration, to beat this simply leave a small bowl of water out but place small rocks in the bowl to prevent the water from evaporating.
Check the area
Before any treatments are completed from your normal herbicide or even mowing, check the area for any hedgehogs as you don’t want to accidentally cause any harm to them. Try your best to cover up any drains or large holes and once a hedgehog falls in they may struggle to climb out again. They have been known to find shelter in mounds of leaves or even a bonfire pile. Before you start prodding the leaves with a fork or even light your bonfire please check you don’t have any of the little ones sheltering within.
Create a small home
This won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but you could give the hedgehogs a little house to stay in. Simply all you need is a box and a tunnel, the hedgehogs will do the rest. If you want to help you can always lay down some straw or dry leaves. Make sure you allow access into the main box via a tunnel which should be around 13cm in height, this will prevent other animals from trying to get in. If you prefer you are able to purchase premade hedgehog homes.