Check before you strim – there may be hedgehogs there!

Hedgehog (2). Photo by Miranda collettstrimmer_sticker_blackerAlways check before you strim. there might be hedgehogs or other wildlife nesting where you are working.

From the Jersey Hedgehog Preservation Group

We see lots of nasty injuries caused by cutting equipment. Every year many hedgehogs are put to sleep because their wounds are too severe to be treated. Hedgehogs will not run away when they hear your cutting or mowing machine, their instinct is to roll up more tightly and stay put, so they often get sliced top and bottom. If there is a mother with babies she will not abandon them but will protect them with her body, getting killed in the process. Our experience is with hedgehogs, but there will be other creatures nesting under the cover of vegetation you will be cutting down, which also need care and protection.

We are asking you to check before you cut, please watch out with piles of sticks, bonfire heaps and well established brambles – if the area is very overgrown – please cut to knee height first, then check for wildlife before you cut lower if required. Should you discover an injured hedgehog, please pick it up with gloves, put it in a bucket/dustbin/box and ring the Jersey Hedgehog Group on 01534 734340 for immediate help or take it to a vet. If you find other injured wildlife please phone the JSPCA on 01534 724331 or your vet – you should not be charged for wildlife.

If you disturb a nest with a mother and baby hedgehogs:
1. The best thing is to leave it alone, cover it over with the material you have cut away and leave the area.
2. If this is not possible because work has to continue, cover the whole nest with a dustbin/bucket with a stone on top, making sure Mum doesn’t escape and ring 01534 734340 for immediate help.
3. If work has to continue at once, make sure you are wearing gloves, gently pick Mum up first and place her in a dustbin/bucket/box, then pick up all the babies (they usually have about five but there can be more) and cover them all with as much original nest material as you can and ring 01534 734340 for immediate help. If you touch the young with your bare hands, your human smell can make the mother reject her babies.

If you discover a nest of another wildlife species please phone the JSPCA for advice on 01534 724331.

You can download campaign leaflet here or a poster in three languages here

Two young hedgehogs on a log. Photo from Jersey Hedgehog