Hedgehogs are struggling to survive in our urban environments. We have written some ideas that you could adopt to try a make it a little easier for their numbers to start increasing again.
"Try to connect your garden with at least five neighbouring gardens"We do not want to imagine a future, where a young British writer and illustrator looks around them for inspiration from the animal world but there is little to see. When Beatrix Potter created a character called Mrs. Tiggy-winkle she based it on her pet hedgehog. However, these popular native creatures are struggling to survive and have declined by about 50 percent in the last thirty years.
Are we doing our bit to make life a little easier for them? Instead of using slug pellets (which can be dangerous for lots of wildlife, pets and children), its much better to encourage slug eating wildlife, such as birds, frogs, toads, hedgehogs, slow-worms and ground beetles. If you have a garden with new or strong fencing, make a small hole (15x15cm) for them to travel between gardens. A hedgehog can climb, swim and run at 6mph, travelling a mile a night to find food, shelter and a mate. They hibernate alone between November and April, so should be active now. Having a large series of connected gardens to roam through at night, will help.
If you can, visit a local British wildlife centre to learn more, face to face.
The stats: 1950s 30 million, now 1 million, urban extinction predicted by 2025.
- Leave drinking water for a hedgehog in a shallow bowl, refill daily.
- Cut a hedgehog size hole in the fence to help them travel.
- Make your pond hedgehog friendly, they can swim but need a way out.
- Buy or create a hedgehog house, in case one comes to stay.
- Check for hedgehogs before gardening, twice when using power tools.
- Pick up litter, especially tin cans that can injure or trap an animal.
Also, do not feed them milk and bread as it is not good for them.
If we do nothing, the urban hedgehog in the UK is doomed. Make your garden a safe haven and encourage your friends and relatives to do the same.
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