Hedgehogs are definitely a gardener’s friend, because they eat beetles, caterpillars, worms and other invertebrates you might not want. They also help to keep your crops and plants in great health. You can in fact encourage hedgehogs into your garden and keep them happy throughout the year.
According to the RSPCA as many as 10 different hedgehogs may visit a garden over several nights, which could mean ‘your hedgehog’ is actually a number of different ones visiting at different times!
Make a hedgehog home
Leave areas of the garden wild, with piles of leaves, logs or compost. These are an attractive nest, as well as a home for the invertebrates that hedgehogs like to eat.
Our purpose built Gardman Woven Hedgehog House is constructed with a sturdy rust resistant steel frame covered with a natural looking finish. A great addition to your garden as well as keeping hedgehogs warm during the colder months by providing them with a safe shelter.
Put out food and water
You can add to a hedgehog’s natural diet by leaving out food and fresh water. Its a great way to encourage local hedgehogs into your garden. Our Gardman Hedgehog Bites provide hedgehogs with the essential, carefully blended minerals and vitamins they need to survive. You can feed Gardman Hedgehog Bites on the ground or even in a Gardman Compact Ground Feeding Tray
They are extremely nutritious and also high in energy for our garden friends.
The RSPCA recommend the following:
- Never feed hedgehogs milk or bread – milk can cause diarrhoea and bread isn’t very nutritious
- Check the food and water bowls each day to top them up with fresh water and food, and remove any food that hasn’t been eaten
- Always clean the dishes – do this outside (not in the kitchen) every day using hot, soapy water and rinse well. This will help to reduce the risks of spreading disease between different hedgehogs that might eat from the same dish
Hedgehog-friendly gardening tips
- Check for hedgehogs before using lawnmowers, strimmers or anything with prongs – particularly under hedges, where they might be resting during the day. If you’re forking over a compost heap, check them for any nesting hogs first.
- Always thoroughly disturb bonfires immediately before you light them, as there could be hedgehogs nesting or hiding inside. Remember that they tend to hide in the center and bottom two feet in particular. When checking, lift parts of the bonfire section by section using a pole or broom. Do not use a fork, spade or rake as this may injure a hedgehog. Do this almost immediately prior to lighting your bonfire
- Pick up litter – they can get their heads stuck in tins, plastic bags, plastics from drink cans and even discarded yoghurt pots. Make sure you dispose of your rubbish safely and check there’s no litter in your garden.
- Raise any netting: if you have any netting or wire in your garden, make sure it’s at least a foot above ground level, as hedgehogs can easily become tangled up in it.
What to do if you find poorly Hedgehog
If you disturb a hedgehog, and it is hibernating, gently put it back into its nest, re-cover it with the nest material and leave it alone.
However, if this is not possible because their nesting site has been destroyed – then place the hedgehog in a part of the garden where it will be safe and sheltered, with as much of the original nest as possible.
Where a hedgehog isn’t hibernating and has young hoglets, try to re-cover them with the nesting material and leave them alone. Then, if this isn’t possible, please call the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999 for more advice. www.rspca.org.uk