Sunday, 21 October 2012

How you can help hedgehogs during winter

"Although hedgehogs are common and widespread evidence of a drastic decline is mounting. Surveys show that populations have dropped by almost 50% over the last 25 years and the indication is that this decline is still continuing in England and Wales. If nothing is done to reverse the trend then this mammal could be extinct from some areas by 2050. This worrying level of decline has led to the hedgehog becoming a UK Priority Species and conservation measures are being put in place". Source - Peoples Trust For Endangered Species.

How you can help hedgehogs:

Provide shelter - It’s really easy to make a house for hedgehogs. For example, a sturdy crate turned upside down. Cover it with stones, earth and wood, and make sure there’s an entrance. If it’s dry and protected, hedgehogs can use it to stay over winter. Hibernating hedgehogs like peace and quiet so you can put the shelter where it won’t be disturbed, against a wall, bank or fence if possible and under or near plant cover.

You can view example hedgehog homes here.

Provide food and water - Put out a dish of dry or tinned meaty pet food (no bread or milk), with a shallow dish of fresh water. You can deter foxes and cats from eating the food by placing it under a cover, such as an up-turned washing up bowl with a hedgehog-sized entrance cut in the side and weighed-down with bricks.

Create a leaf pile

Don’t be too tidy - Leave undisturbed areas where hedgehogs can forage and find natural shelter.

Make a log pile - Hedgehogs love foraging in piles of old wood, as they’re usually the best place to find slugs, snails, insects and worms. Stack up some wood in a quiet corner and as it slowly rots, it will attract more wildlife to your garden and also help birds, as they need help finding food over winter.

Link your garden - For example making holes in or under our garden fences and walls for them to pass through. The gap need only be around 15cm in diameter.

Avoid using pesticides - As these eliminate key prey species for hedgehogs such as slugs.

For more information please visit the British Hedgehog Preservation Society website here.

No comments:

Post a Comment