Hedgehog Awareness Week is an annual event dedicated to raising awareness about these adorable yet very vulnerable creatures and promoting ways to help safeguard their populations. It’s a crucial time to shed light on the challenges hedgehogs face and how we as gardeners, can play a vital role in their protection.

Hedgehogs, once a common sight in British gardens, are now in decline. Habitat loss, fragmentation, and hazards such as roads, pesticides, and garden machinery have all taken their toll on hedgehogs. Their decline is a cause for concern as they play a vital role in garden ecosystems, keeping insect populations in check and acting as natural pest controllers.

How Gardeners Can Help

Gardeners can be pivotal in helping hedgehogs thrive. With a few simple changes to gardening practices, we can create hedgehog-friendly habitats and mitigate some of the threats they face.

Provide Shelter

Hedgehogs need safe places to nest and hibernate. Creating log piles, compost heaps, or purpose-built hedgehog houses can offer them the shelter they need. Make sure they are placed in the quieter corners of the garden. 

Access and Connectivity

Hedgehogs roam over wide areas in search of food and mates. To allow hedgehogs to move freely between gardens and increase their foraging range, encourage your neighbours to join your hedgehog conservation efforts by creating ‘hedgehog highways, which are essentially small holes or gaps in fences that allow hedgehogs to move freely between gardens, increasing their available habitat.

Food and Water

Leaving out shallow dishes of water and supplementary food can provide vital nourishment, especially during dry spells or when natural food sources are scarce. We stock a specially formulated hedgehog food, but you could also leave out cat biscuits or mealworms (though sparingly).

Avoid Chemicals

Pesticides and slug pellets can be harmful to hedgehogs. We stock some wildlife friendly alternatives to combat the slugs, such as Slug Gone Wool Pellets and Copper Slug Tape.

Check Before You Cut

Before mowing the lawn or using garden machinery, check for hedgehogs hidden in long grass or under bushes. Hedgehogs are particularly vulnerable during the breeding season, so extra care should be taken during spring and summer.

Hedgehogs are a cherished part of British wildlife, but their numbers are declining rapidly. Gardeners have a unique opportunity to make a positive impact by creating hedgehog-friendly habitats and taking steps to reduce potential risks in their gardens. To raise awareness about hedgehog conservation in your area, pleases share information about Hedgehog Awareness Week and encourage others to make their gardens hedgehog-friendly too!