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  • Writer's pictureHedgehog Sanctuary

Hedgehog Haven: How to Transform Your Garden into a Prickly Paradise

Imagine your garden as a bustling hedgehog haven, a place where these adorable, spiky creatures can thrive. With a little effort and a lot of love, you can turn your outdoor space into a haven for hedgehogs. In this article, we'll explore some fun and practical ways to make your garden hedgehog-friendly while also highlighting common dangers to avoid.

Hedgehog
Hedgehog investigating a bucket

Create Hedgehog Highways


Hedgehogs are small, nomadic creatures that need space to roam. To encourage their movement through your garden, consider creating "hedgehog highways." These are small openings or gaps in your garden fences or walls that allow hedgehogs to pass through. You can easily make these by cutting small holes or creating tunnels beneath your fences.


Provide Shelter


Hedgehogs need cozy spots to rest and hibernate. Consider installing a hedgehog house or making a simple DIY one using a wooden box filled with dry leaves, straw, and a little hay. Place it in a quiet, shaded area, and your garden will become a sought-after hedgehog hideaway.


Food and Water Stations


Like all creatures, hedgehogs need sustenance. Leave out some fresh water in a shallow dish and provide a hedgehog buffet with cat or dog food (avoid fish-flavored options if possible). Hedgehogs are also partial to mealworms but these are bad for them so please do not feed mealworms.


Let Wild Areas Flourish


Hedgehogs love to explore wild and untamed areas of gardens. Allow a section of your garden to grow naturally, and you'll provide them with a rich source of insects and shelter.


Avoid Harmful Chemicals


Hedgehogs are sensitive to chemicals found in pesticides and slug pellets can kill them. Opt for natural pest control methods like planting companion plants that deter pests or using biological controls. This not only benefits hedgehogs but also maintains a healthier garden ecosystem.


Common Dangers to Hedgehogs


Now, let's take a moment to discuss some of the common dangers that hedgehogs might encounter in gardens.

Hedgehog with plastic bottle cap trapped on its neck
Hedgehog with plastic bottle cap trapped on its neck

Garden Tools


Hedgehogs are known to hide in cozy, dark spots, like the nooks and crannies of garden sheds and piles of leaves. Before using any tools or machinery, always check these areas to avoid accidental harm.


Garden Ponds


Water is essential, hedgehogs are also pretty good swimmers. But, ensure that your garden pond has a gently sloping edge or provides a means of escape (like a ramp or rocks) to prevent hedgehogs from drowning.


Bonfires


Hedgehogs often seek shelter in piles of garden debris or wood. Before lighting a bonfire or moving such materials, inspect them carefully to avoid harming any hidden hedgehogs.


Conclusion


By following these tips, you can make your garden a delightful haven for hedgehogs. Hedgehogs are fascinating creatures that offer valuable pest control services in addition to their undeniable charm. With a little care, you can coexist with these spiky garden companions while ensuring their safety and well-being. So, let's transform our gardens into hedgehog-friendly paradises – a win-win for both you and your adorable new neighbors!


Hornbeam Wood Hedgehog Sanctuary (http://www.hwhs.org.uk)

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