This should help to protect the food you offer hedgehogs from inclement weather and deter larger mammals from accessing the food, allowing hedgehogs to dine in the dry and in peace! Suitable food to offer would be specialist hedgehog food, white meal cat/dog food or cat biscuits. Don’t forget to offer water!
What will I need?
Large Plastic Storage Box
2 Bricks or Large Stones
Very carefully cut a 13cm x 13cm (5” x 5”) square gap in one of the short sides of the box, cover sharp edges with the insulation tape.
Place the food and water at the back of the box as far away from the entrance as possible.
Place one brick on top of the box to prevent it from being easily moved and another approx 13cm (5”) away from the entrance to stop larger mammals being able to lie down and hook the food out with their paws.
Voila! A Hedgehog Diner!
A guide to helping hedgehogs
Avoid using pesticides and slug pellets in your garden. Not only can these harm hedgehogs but also damage their food chain. Use organic methods instead.
Make sure hedgehogs have easy access to your garden. Ensure boundary fences or walls have a 13cm x 13cm gap in the bottom to allow hedgehogs to pass through. Keep a corner of your garden wild to offer shelter, protection and natural food for hedgehogs and other wildlife. Encourage hedgehogs into your garden, but you should never just move one in from another area, as it may well have a nest of dependent young that you would be condemning to death.
Provide a shallow dish of fresh water for all wildlife, and food such as hedgehog food, meaty cat or dog food or cat biscuits for hedgehogs, especially during long dry spells.
Make or buy a hedgehog home, this offers a hibernation site safe from predators in the winter. It may also be used as a nesting box for a mother and her hoglets in the warmer months. The British Hedgehog Preservation Society can provide a leaflet on building a hedgehog home and sells one in its shop (see www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk or contact details over).
Check areas thoroughly for hedgehogs and other wildlife before strimming or mowing. Keep pea netting 22-30cms (9 - 12”) off the ground so hedgehogs can pass under and plants will grow to the netting.
Dispose of litter responsibly. Every year hedgehogs are injured by litter and starve to death by getting trapped in discarded rubbish.
Bonfires offer a tempting home for a hedgehog. Ideally collected materials should be re-sited just before the fire is to be lit, if this is not possible, the base should be lifted up with poles or broom handles (not a fork!) and a torch shone in to look for any wildlife or pets in need of rescue before lighting.
Hedgehogs are good swimmers but can become trapped in ponds or pools with sheer sides. Keep water levels topped up, provide a gently sloping edge if possible or place half submerged rocks in the water as an escape for them.
Cattle grids can be a problem, hedgehogs fall in and become trapped, a simple ramp placed in the grid will save lives. The surface should be rough to enable the escapee to gain a foothold.
Finally, take care on the roads, hedgehogs are nocturnal so are often seen out at night. A hedgehog’s natural defense mechanism is to roll into a ball - this is no match for a motor vehicle.
Did you know hedgehogs are nocturnal? This photo was taken at night using clever filters to enhance the lighting conditions. If you ever see a hedgehog out during daylight it could be a sign of distress. Check out our online guides that can help you take the right course of action, if any is required.
A guide to helping hedgehogs The British Hedgehog Preservation Society - Registered Charity Number 1164542 (formerly 326885) Tel: 01584 890 801 Web: www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk