Would you like to make your garden better for hedgehogs? This article has lots of tips and information to help you do just that.
Hedgehogs are incredibly cute spiny animals that are sadly classified as vulnerable to extinction in the UK. It’s not all bad news though because there is a lot we can all do to help the hedgehog thrive locally by making our gardens more hedgehog friendly. It’s very easy to do, and our cute snuffly friends will be so thankful for it.
Let’s take a closer look at hedgehogs and how to make your garden more hedgehog friendly:
A Little About Hedgehogs
Hedgehogs are a type of mammal that has over 5,000 spines and it is found in most of Britain except a few remote Scottish areas. It can be found in more remote and rural areas, but it is really well established in urban areas like cities, towns and villages.
The hedgehog lives on a diet of beetles, caterpillars, snails and slugs, as well as other insects and foraged birds eggs.
Although the hedgehog is not considered endangered in the UK, it is considered at real risk of becoming extinct through human activity and communities of these cute animals are really struggling in certain areas.
Why Help Hedgehogs?
Aside from the fact that hedgehogs are very cute, it is a great idea to help them to help boost your local ecosystem. Hedgehogs help to remove pesky pests that attack your plants and form a vital part of the ecosystem.
Hedgehogs are also an indicator species which means that when we identify a decline in hedgehogs, it means there is a decline in the quality of the local environment.
How To Make Your Garden More Hedgehog Friendly
If you have an outdoor space there is a lot you can do to make sure that it is hedgehog friendly. By doing this you not only help these spiny pals have a better chance of survival, but you could even attract some and catch some sightings yourself!
Here’s how to make your garden more hedgehog friendly:
Avoid Using Slug Pellets
Slug pellets are used to kill slugs and snails that try to eat plants in your garden. The problem is that the animals that eat these pellets are then eaten by hedgehogs which then pass away from the toxic load. The same can happen with toxic pesticides and other chemicals used in gardening. If you stick to natural, wildlife safe gardening methods you will help to protect local hedgehogs, birds and pollinators.
Control Netting & Wire
Netting in the garden used for gardening, fencing and other uses can be fatal for hedgehogs. They get caught in the netting and it gets stuck around them, eventually causing a fatal injury. If you can avoid using any netting or plastic ties in the garden that’s ideal, or if not, secure it above the ground where hedgehogs won’t come across it and get stuck in it.
Always Check Piles
If you have built a bonfire it is essential to check it for hedgehogs before setting it alight. It is also important that before you declutter your garden shed contents into the cheap self storage unit, or you remove pots and debris and take it to the tip, you check for hedgehogs. Hedgehogs will hibernate in all kinds of spaces, so it is important we don’t accidentally harm them with general garden maintenance.
Add A Hedgehog Highway Gap
Lots of people are now adding a hedgehog highway gap in their fence. It is usually small and low to the ground, allowing hedgehogs to be able to move between gardens easily.
Create A Pond That Is Hedgehog Friendly
Hedgehogs can swim but if they have no way to get out of your pond (if they fall in) they will drown. A small ramp or a pile of rocks to allow them to get out is really helpful to prevent them getting stuck.
Allow Some Of Your Garden To Go Wild
Creating plenty of neat storage, utilising seasonal cheap self storage for garden furniture and maintaining tidy garden beds is important, but so is offering just a bit of wilderness for animals like hedgehogs to enjoy. With branches, log piles, leaf piles and plants that are allowed to just go wild, hedgehogs, insects and other creatures can enjoy the extra boost of nature in your garden. Just one wild corner is enough to support local wildlife, so it’s worth doing.
Are You Ready To Help Your Local Hedgehogs?
With just a few small changes in your garden you can support these snuffly wild friends for a boost in your local ecosystem. As you start to make changes, you can prevent hedgehogs declining in your area and who knows, if you’re lucky, you might even spot a prickled pal making the most of your efforts!
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