Five Ways to Attract Hedgehogs
Hedgehogs have lived here for at least half a million years and sadly every single year their numbers are on the decline. Their urban numbers in the U.K. have dropped by 30% since the millennium and 50% in rural areas. So, if we want to continue to live along side our spikey friends then we need to try and do our bit to make our gardens hedgehog friendly.
One of the main factors of their decline is loss of suitable habitat and there are many things we can do that will make a big difference. Luckily enough for us, Jackie, a member of staff at Polhill is passionate about wildlife and is super knowledgeable too. So, she has put together her top tips on how to attract hedgehogs into your garden – happy reading!
We have been aware of hedgehog visitors in our garden, for about 4 years now. As soon as we found them, we began researching to ensure that we were doing all we could to help them. I also spent many days, stalking them at 10pm at night!
I’ve listed 5 easy things, you can do in your garden, to encourage hedgehogs to visit. Let’s keep our fingers crossed!’
Jackie's Top 5 Hedgehog Tips!
- Make a hedgehog highway. A hole 13cms square to gain access between gardens will ensure they can come and go freely. Hedgehogs can travel for 1-2 kilometres in a night.
- Provide a dish of water. Never milk as hedgehogs are lactose intolerant. They can easily get dehydrated if they get a poorly tummy. Change the water and clean the dishes frequently to avoid spreading bacteria or disease.
- Hedgehogs are good swimmers but if you have a pond, make sure they have a way to climb out, like a ramp, or some low growing plants, they can climb on.
- Provide a food source. Either hedgehog specific food or dry kitten biscuits.
You can give them wet food but that does encourage flies. Do not give them mealworms as they can cause very serious bone development problems. You can easily make a feeding station from a large plastic box. There are plenty of online videos to give you easy instructions. It’s fun to do and the whole family can get involved. We sell most of the items needed, in store.
- Create a nesting site. They will nest under sheds or decking but you can create further nest sites for them. They often don’t nest in the same place for long. They may spend 1 or 2 nights in a nest before moving on. Either leave an area of the garden to grow wild, with long grasses or shrubs or buy a hedgehog house. The wicker ones are only really suitable for summer use but we also sell wooden ones to be used all year round. I have had a hedgehog use the wicker dome in my garden. I fill mine with hay to give them some bedding material, although they’ll find their own. Make sure you place the house in a shady part of the garden as it’ll get very warm in the sun and they are very prone to dehydration.
Good luck with your wild visitors. Feel free to pop in store and tell me how you’re getting on!
Comments are closed