Make your garden more hedgehog friendly with these handy hints.
1. DON’T BE TOO TIDY
Leave undisturbed areas where hedgehogs can forage and shelter.
2. CREATE A COMPOST HEAP
Hedgehogs love the warmth and security – and food.
3. PROVIDE SHELTER
Simply lean a piece of wood against a wall or build a hibernation box.
4. AVOID PESTICIDES AND CHEMICALS
These eliminate key prey species for hedgehogs.
5. TAKE CARE
Watch out for nesting hedgehogs when using lawnmowers and strimmers.
HOW TO SEE A HEDGEHOG
You don’t necessarily need a garden to see a hedgehog – just a bit of patience and the ability to sit quietly and listen.
Locate a suitable habitat
If you’ve a hedgehog-friendly garden, sit out on a warm evening, with a glass of something nice, and wait. Otherwise, find a junction of hedges on a small farm or a field on the edge of a deciduous woodland. Sit quietly and wait.
Shut your eyes and listen
Hedgehogs rely mainly on smell to locate prey, and make a highly distinctive snuffling noise when foraging.
If you are out and about in late spring/early summer, you might get to see or hear one of the wonders of British wildlife – hedgehog courtship. The male and female shuffle around in circles, snorting explosively, until the female finally relents and allows the male to mate with her.
Did you know?
- A hedgehog defends itself by rolling up into a ball. It does this by contracting special muscles under its spiny skin. The head, legs and tail are forced inside the contracting ball.
- Hedgehogs will sometimes anoint their back and flanks with frothy saliva so that it looks as if they are covered in bubblebath. Experts are not sure why they do this.