They Need Our Help

18th January 2016
Hedgehogs are in trouble in the UK as reports come in that fewer hedgehogs are seen every year. Recent surveys show that hedgehog numbers declined by approximately a third between 2002 and 2012 and sightings fell by 4 percent just in 2014.
In the past, gamekeepers killed hedgehogs because they ate the eggs of game birds. Today they are regarded as beneficial and is often called the gardener's friend as it eats large numbers of slugs, snails and other garden pest.
The once common Hedgehog is now under threat from development and habitat loss. Combined, our gardens provide a space for wildlife larger than all our National Nature Reserves, so by gardening in a wildlife-friendly way, we can help our spiny companions to find a home and to move safely between habitats to find mates and food.
Thousands of hedgehogs die every year for a variety of reasons, most of them caused by humans.
Roads Traffic There is a lot more traffic so crossing roads has become increasingly hazardous and the Hedgehogs defence when in danger is to roll up all to many end up dead. Chemicals The use of garden chemicals such as insecticides and slug pellets is a threat. They reduce the natural food available. Also, tiny quantities of chemicals are present in slugs and beetles and as Hedgehogs may eat hundreds of these every month they can soon accumulate enough poison to affect their health.
Drowning If a hedgehog falls into a swimming pool or steep-sided pond, it often drowns because it cannot climb up the smooth sides so put something in the water that the Hedgehog can climb to get out.
If you have a Hedgehog in the garden, you can help it out by putting down a little cat or dog food (meat based) and some fresh water. Another thing you can do is not be to tidy leave some grass to get long where the Hog can forage for food and a pile of leaves or logs for it to hibernate under. But don't forget to check your bonfire before you light it. We can also help hedgehogs by making sure we have access points to our gardens if your garden is walled you might want to consider removing a brick so that hedgehogs can pass through and a small hole cut in the bottom of your fence is all they need so they can get around safely.
If you can encourage them into your garden it will be a great help for them and for you to see nature at work.