Hedgehogs, one of our most beloved UK mammals, are in decline. Here's how to help them

Armed with up to 7,000 sharp spines, sprints up to 2 metres a second, able to climb walls and swim ponds - there's more to the humble hedgehog than you might think. But despite these superheroic qualities, hedgehogs are under threat. Their numbers have declined by about 30% in the last 15 years and there are now thought to be only 1 million hedgehogs in the entire UK.

There are ways to help them, however. During Hedgehog Awareness week, we are asking that you lend hedgehogs a helping hand and there are plenty of ways to do so:

  • At this time of year, don't strim or mow without checking for sleeping or resting hogs. 
  • Drive carefully at night when hogs are out and about.
  • Create 'hog highways'. Get together with your neighbours to put holes in your fences to connect your gardens. You can download a hole template here and you can add your hedgeholes to our Big Map at HedgehogStreet.org.
  • Let hedgehogs provide your pest control. Avoid the use of pesticides in your garden, especially slug pellets.
  • Hedgehogs are great swimmers but they can drown if they become trapped in a steep-sided pond. Provide a ramp or create shallow edges at the edge of your pond for easy exit.
  • Provide nesting sites. Log and leaf piles and purpose-built hedgehotels make great places for hedgehogs to hibernate over the winter. 
  • Download our booklet, Get Creative for Hedgehogs (or read it below), which is packed with facts and further advice on how to help hedgehogs. It also contains instructions for buildling your own hedgehotels.

 

 

If you see a hedgehog out during the daytime, there is usually something wrong - the nest was disturbed, or it may be ill or injured or has not gained enough weight to survive hibernation. If you find one like this then please call one of our local hedgehog rescue centres:

Cambridgeshire
Shepreth Hedgehog Hospital: 07505 651968 or out of hours emergency 07771 457693
Cambridge Wildlife Care, Ely: 07977 320 320

Northamptonshire
Brackley Hogwatch, 07528 119416

Or search for a hedgehog rescue on this map or by calling the British Hedgehog Preservation Society on 01584 890 801.

If you need to pick up a hog:

• Pick it up using an old towel or put a some gloves on to avoid getting spiked.
• Place the hedgehog inside a high sided box (at least 18 inches high) lined with newspaper.
• Put a towel over it to keep it warm.
• Please don’t give it anything to eat or drink (definitely no milk or bread) until you have taken advice.
 

Downloads

FilenameFile size
Hedgehole Template649.37 KB
Get Creative for Hedgehogs4.82 MB