HEDGEHOGS NEED YOUR HELP
The reasons are many, from changes in countryside farming practices, changes in land usage – for example expanding urbanisation – to much tidier gardens, which are often enclosed so nothing can
get in or out. Even simple things like the removal of leaf litter is detrimental as a simple leaf pile offers refuge and an insect larder. However, we can take action with direct benefit to hedgehogs and many other animals, and more than 30,000 have pledged to do so via www.hedgehogstreet.org, run by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society.
Simple but effective things that can be done for free include:
• Ensuring there is a way in and out of your garden, to other gardens. Hedgehogs only need a four-inch gap to be able to get into your garden and will typically travel through 20 or so gardens in a night, foraging for food.
• A leaf litter pile provides opportunities for nesting as well as food from all of the insects that will make this their home.
• Create a log pile. This again provides habitat for insects and so provides food for wildlife.
• Leave an area to ʻgo wildʼ. Leaving even just the top foot or so of the garden to grow over will provide all sorts of wildlife habitat.
There are other simple things that that can help including:
• Keeping areas litter free – hedgehogs get stuck in cans and plastic bags as they are inquisitive creatures.
• Not using pesticides in the garden.
• Keeping any netting off the ground by at least nine inches to prevent hedgehogs getting caught.
• Keeping chemicals off the ground, in areas such as sheds.
• Leaving out some food and water for them.
Hayling Island Hedgehog Rescue takes in sick, injured and orphaned hogs. With the help of many generous donations and funding, it offers an emergency service, experienced medical care, intensive rearing of young, orphaned hoglets, advice and talks. Follow and like us on Facebook or call 023 93785147 or 07976 532960.