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% since the millennium.
There are ways to help them, however.
- Create 'Hedgehog Highways'. Get together with your neighbours to put holes in your fences to connect your gardens. - Adding a Hedgehog Highway sign will help others know the hole is intentional!
- You can add your Hedgehog sightings and Hedgehog Highways to the Big Hedgehog Map, this will help conservation efforts and help influence decision makers.
- Let hedgehogs provide your pest control. Avoid the use of pesticides in your garden, especially slug pellets.
- Provide nesting sites. Log and leaf piles and purpose-built hedgehotels make great places for hedgehogs to hibernate over the winter.
- Clear away litter and anything a hog might get trapped in.
- Put out food and water.
- 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.
- Drive carefully at night when hogs are out and about.
- Don't strim or mow without checking for sleeping or resting hogs.
- Become a member of the Wildlife Trust and support our work creating nature recovery networks.
There are now thought to be only 1 million hedgehogs in the entire UK
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