Hedgehogs have been around for 15 million years, which makes them one of the oldest mammals still in existence. They are
nocturnal animals and, in the daytime, they sleep curled up in long grass and undergrowth.
Hedgehogs are the gardener’s friend, as they love to eat slugs. They DO NOT run away from danger, but curl up and try to protect themselves with their spines, which is
what they do when they hear the noise of mowers and strimmers. Sadly it gives them no protection from these tools and they can suffer horrific injuries or be killed by them.
A campaign has been underway for some time to get strimmer manufacturers to label their products with a warning but they are reluctant to do so. Apparently, the possibility of shredding a hedgehog doesn’t make for good sales. Hedgehogs are on the endangered list, so each and every unnecessary death brings them a step closer to extinction. So before using a strimmer or mower please check first to make sure NOTHING is curled up there.
There are a number of ways that you can help hedgehogs to thrive in your area:
- Leave small gaps at the bases of
fences and walls, so they can roam
- Hedgehogs can swim but often drown in garden ponds because of their steep and slippery sides. Provide them with an escape route: a piece of wood, chicken wire or pile of stones;
- Bonfires make good places for hedgehogs to nest. Check to make sure a hedgehog has not made its nest before lighting;
- Let a small part of your garden go wild. Long grass, log/leaf piles and undergrowth provide foraging and nest places for the perfect hedgehog habitat;
- Feed your hedgehog – hedgehog, dog or cat food or mealworms (not bread and milk)
For more information on hedgehog care, or if you find an injured or ill hedgehog, either call us on 01453 753555 or the Help a Hedgehog Hospital on 07870 378207.