A Guide To Helping Hedgehogs

Monday 19-04-2021 - 10:25

Hedgehog Awareness Week runs each year and is organised by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society. This year, it runs from the 2nd to 8th May, and we want to help everyone to get involved! It is important to raise awareness for the problems that hedgehogs face and do what we can to help. 

Here are five ways that you can help hedgehogs:

1. Hedgehog Highways 
It is crucial that hedgehogs have easy access to our gardens to offer protection and have access to food. Hedgehog highways are 13cm holes in the bottom of fences to allow hedgehogs to pass through. This also helps to mirror their natural habitat and allow them to mate, forage for food and thrive. Hedgehog Highway fence signs can be bought directly from the British Hedgehog Preservation Society here.

2. Avoid Pesticides 
The use of pesticides and slug pellets in the garden not only are poisonous to hedgehogs, but also disrupt their food chain by killing slugs and earthworms that make up most of their diet. Organic products are available to prevent slugs and snails munching on your plants but ensuring hedgehogs do not starve. 

3. Provide Food and Water 
By keeping a shallow dish of water topped up in your garden, all wildlife including hedgehogs will benefit. Hedgehog food is also readily available from most garden centres or online, but they also enjoy kitten biscuits. This is a great bonus for the during the dry season, when earthworms and slugs are not as readily available for them to eat. 

4. Garden Safety
Although hedgehogs are good swimmers, they can easily become trapped in ponds and pools. It is essential to keep the water levels high as this will provide a gently sloping edge to help them crawl back out and prevent drowning. Be sure to check your gardens carefully before strimming or mowing to ensure hedgehogs or other wildlife are not hiding. 

5. Have a Hedgehog Home in Your Garden
Hedgehog homes available to purchase or you can make your own! The British Hedgehog Preservation Society has one available from their shop which can be found here. This offers them a hibernation site that is safe from predators in winter and can be used as a nesting box for a mother and her hoglets during the warmer months. Guides and dimensions for building your own are readily available on the BHPS website

All of these helpful tips and more are available in your HFC welcome pack, so be sure to sign up using Brookes’ Registration code at https://www.greenimpact.org.uk/hedgehogfriendlycampus. 

Follow our Hedgehog Friendly Campus Instagram Page (@obu_hedgehogcampus) to keep up to date with our campaign and ways you can get involved.

You can also contact us on su.environmental@brookes.ac.uk

Written by Caitlin Green, Animal Biology and Conservation student and member of the Hedgehog Friendly Campus team at Brookes

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