If you are looking to encourage hedgehogs into your garden, you need to make sure you are prepared and can offer them a safe environment.
Prepare Your Garden
Here's what you can do to keep your garden hedgehogs safe.
- Check for hedgehogs before using strimmer's or lawn mowers - particularly under hedges, where they might be resting during the day.
- Before forking over a compost heap, check them for any nesting hogs first.
- Cover holes: hedgehogs can easily fall into uncovered drains or holes in your garden.
- Provide an exit route from ponds and pools. Use bricks or stones at the side of the pond.
- Cover swimming pools overnight and when they're not in use.
- Make sure you dispose of your rubbish safely and check there's no litter in your garden. Any plastic rings should be cut up, however small they are.
- Raise any netting: if you have any netting or wire in your garden, make sure it's at least a foot above ground level, as hedgehogs can easily become tangled up in it.
- Keep any dangerous chemicals or tools well off the ground.
- If you need to dismantle your shed, check carefully underneath the floor first for nesting or hibernating hedgehogs.
- Avoid slug pellets and pesticides - these can poison hedgehogs and should only be used as a last resort.
Creating a Home
You can easily create a natural home by leaving parts of your garden wild, by piling leaves, plant cuttings and compost. These will also attract insects that hedgehogs will love to eat!
If you would prefer a more permanent home for your hogs, we do have a range of hedgehog houses.
You can encourage hedgehogs into your garden easily by consistently providing food and fresh water. Here are a few tips:
- Supply good quality, semi-moist, meaty hedgehog food or crunchy biscuits.
- Never feed hedgehogs milk or bread - milk can cause diarrhoea and bread isn't very nutritious.
- Check the food and water bowls each day to top them up with fresh water and food, and remove any food that hasn't been eaten.
- Always clean the dishes - do this outside (not in the kitchen) every day using hot, soapy water and rinse well. This will help to reduce the risks of spreading disease between different hedgehogs that might eat from the same dish.