Helping Hedgehogs - Care for Creatures
Autumn is the season when our favourite garden visitors are busiest, searching for food in preparation for winter hibernation. Hedgehogs are fantastic foragers but many of their natural habitats have been depleted and insect populations are declining and becoming less diverse. However, there are many ways you can help these wonderful prickly creatures.
Encourage beetles and bugs into your garden. A wide variety of insects are important to a hedgehog’s diet and having a bug friendly garden will not only help hedgehogs but will also improve the wellbeing of birds and other species throughout the winter. At Dragonfly we have tins of seedballs especially created with plant species to attract bugs and beetles to your garden., which can be planted in autumn.
Avoid pesticides and other chemicals in the garden, which have a devasting effect on the insects, slugs and snails that hedgehogs love to eat.
Keep hedges in your garden rather than replacing them with fences to give a safe route for night-time foraging and provide a habitat for the bugs and beetles that hedgehogs eat.
Make a hole at the bottom of fences to allow the hedgehog easy access to roam.
Create hedgehog ‘hotels’ in your garden; compost piles, as well as leaf, rock and log piles provide hibernation homes for hedgehogs.
Check for hiding hedgehogs before strimming, mowing and lighting bonfires.
Leave food and fresh water out for hedgehogs in a shallow dish, avoiding milk and bread. Dog food is a popular choice, with a chopped up hard boiled egg.