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Keep an eye on the hedgehogs in your garden

Keep an eye on the hedgehogs in your garden

Published by Grace Mcgachy
1:22pm 17th October 2019. (Updated at 5:20am 18th October 2019)

They had 46 admitted in just one week in West Norfolk. 

Second litter hedgehogs are being rescued in large numbers and being given to the RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre for treatment.

Most are very cold, dehydrated and collapsed when they arrive.  


Autumn and winter can be a dangerous time for the creatures. 

But there are steps you can take to make your garden safer for them, particualrly if you're planning on having a bonfire this year. 

Build bonfires as close to time of lighting as possible, and check them thoroughly for animals before lighting, this can help save the lives of hedgehogs and other small animals.

bonfire-801244_1920

 

Feeding hedgehogs

  • Food and fresh water will encourage hedgehogs to return. Leave out foods like tinned dog or cat food (not fish-based) and crushed dog or cat biscuits. Specialist hedgehog food is also recommended and can be bought from wildlife food suppliers.
  • Never feed hedgehogs milk as it can cause diarrhoea; instead provide plain, fresh water in a shallow bowl.
no copyright image of a hedgehog

 

Hedgehog-friendly gardening

  • Cover drains and holes and place bricks at the side of ponds to give hedgehogs an easy route out. Cover swimming pools overnight and when not in use.
  • Check for hedgehogs before using strimmers or mowers, particularly under hedges where animals may rest.
  • Check compost heaps for nesting hogs before forking over.
  • Build bonfires as close to time of lighting as possible and check them thoroughly before lighting.
  • Remove sports or fruit netting when not in use to prevent hedgehogs becoming entangled, and getting injured.
  • Slug pellets can poison hedgehogs and should only be used as a last resort. Instead try using one of many "natural" alternatives, like sprinkling crushed eggshells or coffee grounds around the plants you need to protect. If you have to use pellets, place them under a slate which is inaccessible to hedgehogs.

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