Lack of Access between gardens is a major threat to hedgehog survival

Throughout the year we often see hedgehogs squashed on roads. It is particularly common during the summer months when hedgehogs are looking for food and mates for breeding.  If they have access between gardens they won’t necessarily need to cross roads.

These days people are keen to secure their property with wooden fencing, which usually rests on concrete gravel boards.  Sadly this means that the hedgehog’s route each night is blocked and they often have to cross roads to find garden access.  Crossing a road is nearly always fatal and over 50,000 hedgehogs are squashed on the road each year (5% of the estimated population remaining in the UK).

Even if you have a concrete gravel board you can make a 5 inch tunnel underneath it.

If the gravel board rests on or just below the soil surface level it is possible to dig a neat channel underneath, which the hedgehog can pass through each night. It is important to create one gap on each side of your garden and to the rear of your property so that these lovely creatures can have access to a series of hedgehog corridors.

It would be really helpful if you could speak with your neighbours and ask if they would be prepared to do the same and print off the attached letter and circulate to as many of your neighbours as possible. Research suggests that hedgehogs need access to between 12-15 medium sized gardens to find enough natural food to survive (earthworms, beetles, caterpillars, insects NOT slugs) If a hedgehog eats too many slugs it will contract lung worm and without treatment will die.

You can download and print out a letter with more information here.

This small and simple act of kindness could mean that you are helping to protect the hedgehog population in your area. Thank you.

This gap is larger than is needed. A 5” tunnel is an ideal size as hedgehogs will burrow to get through. This size also prevents other animals from getting through.

Hedgehog tunnel through wire fence

 

Hedgehogs can travel around two kilometres every night through our parks and gardens searching for food and a mate. Enclosed gardens without hedgehog access will prevent them from following their natural instinct.

One of the main reasons for hedgehog decline in the UK is because our fences and walls are becoming more and more secure, reducing the amount of land available to them. They then have to go further afield, often crossing busy roads in the process and being seriously injured or killed by cars.

 

Hedgehog using the gravel board

Hedgehog fence panel