Helping hedgehogs 

Hedgehog. Photo by Miranda collettJersey Hedgehog Preservation GroupFrom Jersey Hedgehog Preservation Group

Jersey Hedgehog Preservation Group have produced a new leaflet Helping hedgehogs 2018 which can be downloaded here

Hedgehog Highways

One of the main reasons that hedgehog populations are declining is that they often cannot get into our gardens to find food or shelter. A recent report has shown that in urban areas of the UK where people are linking their gardens the decline in numbers is slowing down. It might help our hedgehogs in Jersey if we followed their example. The first thing you can do is to make a 13 x 13cm hole in or under your fence or wall and link your garden with your neighbours to create a Hedgehog Highway. Hedgehogs really are the gardener’s friend and will eat a lot of your garden pests, like slugs and snails. Hedgehogs can roam about one mile in a night. You can register your highway and become a Hedgehog Champion.

Jacksons Fencing have hedgehog friendly gravel boards for their fences with pre-cut holes, in stock in Jersey at JF(T)U Ltd

Hedgehog gravel board. Photo by Jacksons Fencing

Hedgehog friendly garden

Hedgehogs in the Twiglets. Photo by Dru BurdonGo wild

  • Leave a wild area to encourage insects and invertebrates – great hedgehog food!
  • Build a pile of brushwood or logs for hedgehogs to nest in
  • Remove hedgehog hazards
  • Be as organic as you can. Slug pellets kill hedgehogs and other garden chemicals can harm them too
  • Compost your garden waste rather than burn it.

Never set fire to a bonfire without checking it first.  Always move it before you set it alight. A hedgehog will see your garden rubbish as a lovely place to nest, with all too often tragic consequences.

Take care with garden tools, check before you cut, strim or fork your compost heap

Water dangers

If it’s there, they will fall into it:

  • Please cover your drains.
  • Garden ponds – provide escape ramps of stones, rough wood or wire netting.
  • Swimming pools – rigid plastic mesh secured on the edge and trailed in the water makes a good ladder. Hedgehogs are very good swimmers and climbers, BUT they need to be offered a way out.

Netting, string and litter

Hedgehog in 4 pack rings. Photo by Dru BurdonNetting, garden string and other litter can all be hazards for hedgehogs.

  • Store nets safely in the shed when not in use
  • If using nets to grow peas or beans, leave a 13cm gap underneath
  • If using nets for covering low crops such as strawberries, pull taut and cut off surplus
  • Keep your garden clear of litter. Think hedgehog!

Food and water

Put out cat or dog food and water especially in dry weather. Place the food under a box with a 13cm square hole cut in the side to prevent other creatures getting to the food before the hedgehogs arrive.

Does this hedgehog need help?

Hedgehogs are nocturnal so if you see one lying out of its nest in the daytime, there may be something wrong, even if you cannot see any injury. Please pick it up with gloves and put it in a deep box and phone the Jersey Hedgehog Preservation Group on 01534 734340 as soon as you can. However, in the summer if you see a large hedgehog walking with purpose across your garden while it is still light, it may well be a mother with young, so please leave her alone and offer her some cat or dog food and water to help her produce milk to feed her babies.

Read the report The State of Britain’s Hedgehogs 2018 here 

Hedgehog Mr Payn facing front. Photo by Dru Burdon

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