Hedgehogs are in trouble. Their numbers are declining sharply and there are now believed to be less than one million in the UK - a drop of 30% in the last 10 years.
gardens are an important part of the hedgehog’s habitat and there are a number
of ways you can help to arrest their decline. We spoke to the Chief
Executive of The British Hedgehog Preservation Society, Fay Vass, who suggests
1. Ensure there is
hedgehog access in your garden – a 13cm x 13cm gap in boundary fences and
2. Make sure netting is
kept at a safe height.
3. Check compost heaps
before digging the fork in.
4. Stop or reduce the
amount of pesticides and poisons used.
5. Cover drains or deep
6. Ensure there is an
easy route out of ponds and pools.
Fay adds: "bonfires are disastrous for
hedgehogs, so move piles of rubbish to a new site before burning. Ideally
bonfires should not be built until the day they are to be lit. This will
not only save wildlife from burning to death but will also stop the bonfire
from getting soaked if it rains the night before".
to do if you find a hedgehog
you find a hedgehog you are concerned about, use gardening gloves to collect
it up, bring it indoors and put it in a high sided cardboard box with an old
towel or fleece in the bottom for the hedgehog to hide under.
Fill a hot water bottle so that when it is wrapped in a towel
there is a gentle heat coming through and put it in the bottom of the box with
the hedgehog, ensuring it has room to get off the bottle and making sure the
bottle is kept warm (if allowed to go cold it will do more harm than good). Put
the box somewhere quiet.
Offer meaty cat or dog food and fresh water and call The Hedgehog
Preservation Society as soon as possible on 01584 890 801 for further advice
and the numbers of local contacts.
June 2016 we'll donate 15% from every item sold in the Kissing Hedgehogs range: (Kissing
Hedgehogs picnic blanket, picnic hamper and picnic pouch) to The British Hedgehog Preservation Society.