Ways to Help Hedghogs

The week of the 3rd to 9th May is Hedgehog Awareness Week, and it aims to raise awareness of the challenges hedgehogs are facing and how we can all help. 

This year the British Hedgehog Preservation Society is asking us all to talk to our neighbours and see if we can make the street hedgehog friendly by asking at least five other people in the area to join up hedgehog habitat with CD case sized hedgehog highways in the bottom of fences and walls, so that hedgehogs can roam from one garden to another.

Here are more ways to help hedgehogs!

 This is a campaign by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and the People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES).  Even if you don’t have a garden, there will be things you can do.  People are doing some amazing things for hedgehogs all over the country – spreading the word about it on social media could encourage other people to get involved and change the world for hedgehogs!

Better still, become a Hedgehog Champion!  There are already over 74,000 of them, making a big difference for hedgehogs all over the country.  Once you’ve registered (and it’s free to do that, you can access free stuff that you can download such as posters, fact sheets, action cards and invites.  These can help you encourage people in your local area to be as hedgehog friendly as possible.

Give hedgehogs a highway with a hole

Hedgehogs need neighbourhoods of connected places to go – one isolated garden won’t cut it with hedgehogs.  They need a highway – their own motorway system, if you like.  So make sure they can come and go freely in your garden by putting a small hole in a fence so that they can get through – just a 13cm x 13cm hole will do it and enable your hedgehog visitors to find food, nesting places and a mate :-) 

Sign the petition calling for Hedgehog Highways in new developments.  This is a petition to the Minister of Housing and Planning to ensure every new housing development builds in these holes for hedgehog highways.  This will connect gardens and give hedgehogs the vital pathways they need to survive.

Ban chemicals from your garden – they are poisonous to hedgehogs.

Look before you strim and mow in case hedgehogs are about.  If you’re having a bonfire, before you light it, check it for hedgehogs in case they have burrowed their way under it.

Put a pile of logs in a corner for them to enjoy.  They can rest there or hibernate.  Plus log piles are good for encouraging insects which the hedgehogs can eat.

Give them a home...

Give them a hedgehog house –we call ours the “Hedgehog Hilton!”

Give your hedgehogs water so that they’ve got a drink (not milk), especially in warm weather. 

Ban chemicals from your garden – they are poisonous to hedgehogs.

Dinner and a drink

If you’ve got a wildlife pond, make sure wildlife can get out of it if they fall in/venture in – give them a ramp to use. Hedgehogs swim well but they can’t climb out easily.

Let a corner of your garden grow messy – let plants and weeds grow (hurrah, no weeding!) They can tuck into the insects there – bettles, slugs and caterpillars will go down a treat.  And give them something to eat – you can buy food for hedgehogs as an extra treat – meaty cat and dog food can also be served and they can nibble on cat biscuits as well.

Put a pile of logs in a corner for them to enjoy.  They can rest there or hibernate.  Plus log piles are good for encouraging insects which the hedgehogs can eat.

Clear any litter – you don’t want hedgehogs to get caught their heads caught in cans, their paws cut on glass or to try to eat anything they shouldn’t.  Make sure any netting is high enough off the ground that they can trot under it.

Become a member of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and support their work.

If you’re a student, get your university or college to become university friendly – here’s how you do it.  23 have already done this :-)  Hedgehogs need more of you to get stuck in and help them!

Schools can download information here on how they can help hedgehogs.  They have free hedgehog themed activities for children of a primary age, covering a variety of subjects.

Discover all you can about hedgehogs so that you can better understand them!  Both PTES and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society have lots of information on their websites.

If you are in the  south east of England, take a look at WRAS.  They do a Hedgehog Helper Experience which could be a great gift for a hedgehog lover!

Donate to the British Hedgehog Preservation Society or PTES.

PTES have a hedgehog appeal they are running  to study the impact that road traffic is having on our hedgehogs. Find out more and make a donation to their hedgehog appeal today.

The British Hedgehog Preservation Society is hoping to raise £2,000 in Hedgehog Awareness Week – find out more and donate here