Ask yourself this simple question. When was the last time you saw a hedgehog? Apart from a minority of lucky observers, the answer is very likely to be ‘a long, long time ago’. Well, this could partly be to do with the fact that hedgehogs have been in rapid decline for many years; so much so, in fact, that we have lost almost a third of them in the past decade alone.
Urban conurbations, large and fancy contemporary village ‘settlements’ and residential building on a vast scale is largely to blame for their decline. With the loss of natural habitat comes the loss of nature itself, but this isn’t the inexorable ‘be all and end all’ of the matter.
You can help…But how?
There are approximately fifteen million gardens in the UK; we are, to say the least, a nation of garden lovers, so why can’t we use some of this space to accommodate these spiky little beasts. It’s really as simple as adding a few log piles, planting a smattering of wildflowers, and leaving out a few scruffy piles of leaves in some inconspicuous, shady part of your garden.
So what are our best tips for a hedgehog-friendly garden?
- Security is key: therefore, we recommend a good log pile. They provide security and a ton of insectivores for your hedgehogs to munch on. All you have to do is collect some old, dead wood, perhaps even asking your local park for some help, and pile it up in an undisturbed area of your garden.
- A good nesting and bedding site: nothing beats a big pile of leaves for hedgehogs to rummage around in. You can even bury a hedgehog box among the leaves.
- A rough, overgrown corner: if you can create a ‘wild spot’ in your garden, this will work wonders for your hedgehogs. Instead of doing the yearly clean in your garden, let a part of it grow naturally. Not only will this attract hedgehogs, you might also find a few more birds in your garden.
If you have any further inspiration for attracting, or any interesting stories, please post below and share.