Talk to Your Neighbours and Help Hedgehogs!
We urge everyone who is concerned about the plight of the hedgehog to have a chat with your neighbours and see if you can agree to make a gap on each side of your garden under gravel boards or through a fence so that you can create a “Hedgehog Highway” allowing hedgehogs in your area to reach as many gardens as possible.
Hedgehogs need access to between 12 and 15 medium sized gardens in order to find enough natural food (beetles, earthworms, caterpillars and insects) to survive. Contrary to popular belief they should not eat too many slugs as slugs are carriers of lung worm and if a hedgehog eats lots of slugs because they can’t find any other food then they will get lungworm and die.
Even if you have concrete gravel boards and wooden fencing you can make hedgehog access by digging a 5 inch tunnel beneath the gravel board or you might cut a 5” square hole in the concrete with a concrete cutter or through the fence. You can even purchase hedgehog friendly gravel boards. Check out www.jacksons-fencing.co.uk for further information.
Some people worry about other animals getting into the garden through the gap but remember that most animals can climb fences and most dogs are bigger than a hedgehog!!!! If you have a hedgehog already visiting your garden you might want to print off this letter and deliver it to as many people in your road as possible.
Access to gardens on the same side of the road might mean that hedgehogs are less likely to cross roads looking for food. Approximately 50,000 hedgehogs are squashed on the road each year.
Also from September through to march the hedgehogs natural food supply is reduced so they need extra food to survive the winter. Please feed them a sachet or equivalent of meat (not fish) based cat or dog food in jelly or meat based cat biscuits and always make sure there is a bowl of water as they can drink up to 1/3 rd of a litre of water each night.
Hedgehog casualties and deaths in the winter are largely as a result of starvation and dehydration. You can make a difference and help to keep them safe and well.