Posted 7th May 2013
Ben Andrew from the RSPB wildlife enquiries team shares his top tips for looking after and protecting our hedgehogs:
· Create a wildlife corridor so that hedgehogs can access the garden and other gardens, i.e. by creating holes in fences or ensuring there is a gap under the fence - of course it will have to be a joint effort with willing neighbours.
· Have a hedgehog home - either a messy wild patch in the corner of the garden (leaves, wood, grasses etc.) or buy a hedgehog habitat. The RSPB sell a range of hedgehog homes providing a waterproof shelter and safe habitat for the hedgehogs in your garden – you can even make one yourself! Homes are best positioned in a shaded, quiet area of the garden.
· Compost heaps are to be encouraged!
· Leave out food and water (not milk and bread) - hedgehogs like minced meat, tinned dog food and mealworms.
· Don't leave out any slug pellets - hedgehogs eat both slugs and snails.
· Be aware of ponds - hedgehogs can fall in and drown! They can swim, but it is helpful to provide some sloping access so that they can get out easily.
· Strimming/lawn mowing - try not to do it if possible, especially in areas of thick vegetation or under hedges. Alternatively check the garden thoroughly beforehand.
· Close up all open drains, get rid of litter, netting etc. to prevent any injuries.
Visit www.rspb.org.uk for more information or to purchase a hedgehog home