I am lucky enough to have both bats and hedgehogs visit my garden at nights which is quite rare in such an urban environment in which I live. But to be honest, it wasn’t always the case, I followed tips to encourage them into my garden and those tips that worked for me are what you are about to see on this list. With Hedgehogs getting rarer and rarer getting them to come into your garden where it is safe is becoming more important. While there is no guarantee they will come to your little sanctuary, these tips will give you the best chance of it happening…
Make Link Holes
It is called ‘garden linking’ and what it means is to have several holes for the hedgehogs to enter your garden. Making 13 x 13cm (5 x 5”) holes in garden gates, garden fences or even a small hole in a wall. This means the hedgehogs can go from garden to garden and small cats or dogs can’t chase them. These holes work in any urban environment but essentially work well when that said hole backs onto a field.
Cover Up That Pond
Far too many hedgehogs lose their lives falling into ponds and other deepwater features like sunken pools. But the odd thing is hedgehogs can indeed swim, so if you still want the pond or pool make sure there is a little chicken wire ramp for them to climb out of it.
Put Some Food Out
Growing up I was told to put milk out if I wanted to see a hedgehog, but that is not good for them at all. Some cheap cat food is best or puppy food. These two are best because they contain small chunks which the hedgehogs enjoy. Putting some water out in the summer is also a good idea.
Stop Using Pesticides
Hedgehogs will normally eat all the slugs and snails in the garden which means you might be slowing killing the hedgehog if you are using chemicals in the earth or on the plants the slugs and snails consume. If you have to use them try and keep it a small patch of the garden and leave the rest of it natural.
Make a Hog Hut
Making a hedgehog home doesn’t need to be hard at all, in fact, you probably already have one! While a hedgerow is always the best hog-hut a small log pile will do the trick and it will encourage other bugs and things into your garden for the hedgehog to eat! Even a compost heap will do the trick! But you can also make your own hog-hut or indeed buy one from most pet-shops.
Be Mindful When Mowing
When you are mowing your garden try to leave a small 1-foot gap between any hedgehog friendly areas like hedgerows and hog-huts. This will stop them being so scared of the noise of the mower as well as preventing you from accidentally hurting them while strimming.
Keep Pets in From Dusk
Hedgehogs like to come out as soon as it starts to go dark, so do try and keep your pets in from dusk to dawn, this is especially true for larger dogs as they will savage a hedgehog, while cats tend to be more cautious about their presence.
Keep Your Eye Out For Day Hogs
If you see a hedgehog wandering about in the garden in the daylight you might want to rescue it or at the very least give it some food and water as this is often a sign of distress. You can also call your own local hedgehog charities as they will be able to give you some advice.
Keep Your Garden Litter Free
This is not just about pieces of rubbish, but things like nails and other things that might injure the hedgehog. Just check for litter under hedgerows or in the hog-holes you have made as they can easily become trapped in things, especially cans and crisp packets.
Be Aware of Drains
If you just so happen to have any drains or deep holes you should consider covering them over with chicken wire or something like that to prevent any hedgehogs from falling in.
Do you have hedgehogs visit your garden? Have you made a hog-hut? If you have I would love to hear about it in the comments below.