Once the rainy weather disappears, it is important that we try to help the British wildlife that may be roaming around our gardens over Summer. We have gathered a few simple tips together that you can easily implement into your gardening habits to help our hedgehog friends stay healthy and hydrated!
1) Leave out shallow water bowls so any passing hedgehogs can grab a drink. Without much rain, puddles tend to be sparse so providing fresh drinking water can help a parched hedgehog continue their journey!
2) Create access holes in your fencing so hedgehogs can roam a greater area. By cutting a 12cm x 12cm hole in your fence, it means that there will be a network for hedgehogs to follow on their search for food and shelter.
3) Make your water features hedgehog friendly by ensuring the sides slope or by putting a log at the edge for hedgehogs to use to climb out. Hedgehogs can swim but will get exhausted easily. Rope netting can also be used as a hedgehog ladder!
4) Slug pellets often contain metaldehyde which is toxic to hedgehogs. If you want to control the slug/snail population in your garden, take steps into making it more hedgehog friendly as they will eat them for you!
5) Make sure you leave out meat based dog or cat food (hedgehogs are partial to chicken or turkey flavour!) and do NOT leave out any bread or milk. These can dehydrate hedgehogs which could eventually kill them.
6) Grow native plants in your garden. Plants such as hawthorn, blackthorn, dog rose and honeysuckle are fed on by insects. These then lay eggs on the leaves which descend to the ground once hatched. These then become nourishing food for passing hedgehogs! Also, planting a hedge provides the perfect shelter for hedgehogs as they tend to forage and raise their young underneath!
7) Before strimming your garden or starting a bonfire made out of garden waste, check that no hedgehogs are taking shelter! Either dismantle the bonfire and rebuild it or light it at the time of building as this means no wildlife could have crawled in for shelter.