This week is Hedgehog Awareness Week and very good timing for our hedgehogs (at least one of them) to make a reappearance after hibernating over the winter!
Hedgehogs are very much in trouble in the UK- their numbers are ver much in decline through loss of habitat and the increasing use of pesticides.
As well as checking areas before cutting there are other things we can do to help too:
Ensure there is hedgehog access in your garden – a 13cm x 13cm gap in boundary fences and walls.
Move piles of rubbish to a new site before burning it or leave them there permanently for hedgehogs to sleep in.
Ensure netting is kept at a safe height.
Check compost heaps before digging the fork in.
Stop or reduce the amount of pesticides and poisons used- definitely no slug pellets!
Cover drains or deep holes.
Ensure there is an easy route out of ponds and pools.
Putting food out for hedgehogs is s very good thing to do as long as it is the right food! Bread is bad for them, I put out a tray with peanut butter on and perhaps a small portion of cat food (the cats tend to get there first but the hedgehogs often arrive before we get to bed). Instead of milk fresh water will help them in dry spells.
Last year we found a young hedgehogs out during the day- a sure sign that it was in trouble, finding one out in daylight! Luckily there is a hedgehog rescue centre nearby and our hedgehog survived and was later released.