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How to make your garden more hedgehog friendly

Posted: Thursday 29th October 2015 by Community

hedgehog (c) Gillian Day

Follow these easy steps to start to get hedgehogs visiting your garden.

Easy access and shelter: there are many ways to encourage hedgehogs to your garden. Provide them with access points, by leaving a hole or gap in a boundary fence or gate. Build a hedgehog home to provide them with natural shelter using logs, leaves and compost piles. Consider leaving parts of your garden wild to attract hedgehogs. Clean out hedgehog boxes at least once a year, to avoid parasites such as fleas and ticks.

Food and water: hedgehogs feed on insects including slugs, snails, beetles, worms and caterpillars. You can feed them cat food or dog food - but this must not contain fish - crushed cat biscuits, minced meat, chopped boiled eggs, bird food, and water. Hedgehog food can be bought from wild bird food suppliers. Do not feed them bread and milk, as this will make them ill and could kill them.

Safety tips: always consider the following, to attract and encourage hedgehogs to your garden -

  • Garden ponds: make sure there is an easy route for hedgehogs to climb out of the water, such as a gentle slope on at least one side
  • Hedges and undergrowth: prior to cutting, check for hedgehogs and other small animals, especially when using a strimmer, lawn mower or similar equipment
  • Drains: keep these in good condition and cover any open holes to avoid trapping hedgehogs
  • Litter: always dispose of litter as hedgehogs and other wildlife may get their heads stuck in tins, bottles, cans and bags
  • Slug pellets: avoid using slug pellets and other chemicals as they are common causes of hedgehog deaths. Consider using more natural alternatives to slug pellets.

Take part in our hedgehog survey to find out where hedgehogs are sighted in Gloucestershire - and also let us know if you don't see any hedgehogs.


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