Celebrate hedgehog awareness week by transforming your garden into a haven for our spiky friends
Hedgehogs are arguably our most adored British mammal, but sadly their numbers are rapidly declining. This is why the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) are encouraging us to help by making our gardens more wildlife friendly.
Hedgehog Awareness Week runs from the 2nd to the 8th May and this year the charity will be offering tips and advice on their social media accounts (www.twitter.com/hedgehogsociety and www.facebook.com/hedgehogsociety) throughout the week, as well as daily competitions.
“Our gardens take up such a lot of habitat, and by making our own plot more hedgehog friendly, we can improve a huge amount of habitat,” says BHPS chief executive, Fay Vass. “If you don’t have a garden yourself, you can still help by contacting public space managers, neighbours, family and friends to ensure they are all doing their bit.”
The charity are also urging everyone to become a hedgehog champion for their area at Hedgehog Street; a project run by BHPS and their partners People’s Trust for Endangered Species. Join more than 93,000 champions by signing up free at: www.hedgehogstreet.org
You will get an email with top tips on how you can help hedgehogs each month and there’s even a Hedgehog Street app you can download from The App Store or Google Play.
In the meantime, here are a few things we can all do to help hedgehogs:
• Make sure hedgehogs can access your garden with a hedgehog highway, a 13cm by 13cm square gap in the bottom of your fence or wall. Once created you can log these on the big hedgehog map at www.bighedgehogmap.org
• Create a log pile that will offer shelter and natural food.
• Build a Hedgehog Home (see plans at www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk/hedgehog-homes).
• Move piles of rubbish to a new site on the day you are burning it and check it carefully before setting light to it, lighting from only one side so that there’s an escape route should you have missed anything.
• Check areas carefully before mowing or strimming.
• Ensure netting is kept at a height that allows hedgehogs to pass safely under it.
• Check compost heaps carefully before digging the fork in.
• Stop using pesticides and poisons.
• Cover drains or deep holes.
• Ensure there is an easy route out of ponds & pools.
BHPS is hoping to raise £2,000 during Hedgehog Awareness Week 2021 and people can donate at www.justgiving.com/campaign