Helping hedghos survice and thrive in your own garden is the most rewarding thing you can do for them. And it's one of the easiest!
Leave areas of your garden ‘wild’, with piles of leaf litter and logs. These are an attractive nest as well as a home for the invertebrates (slugs, beetles) that hedgehogs like to eat.
Make a hedgehog a home
Making an artificial hegehog home can be as simple as placing a piece of board against a wall. Or buy a purpose built hedgehog house.
Why not make a simple wooden hedgehog house-
download the instructions here (link)
Make sure there are hedgehog-sized gaps in your garden fence. In a single night, a hedgehog can travel 2 to 3 km. A 13cm/5″ gap should allow even the largest hedgehog though.
Food and fresh water will encourage hedgehogs to return. Leave out foods like tinned dog or cat food (not fish-based), crushed cat biscuits, or chopped boiled eggs. Specialist hedgehog food can also be bought from wild bird food suppliers.
Never feed hedgehogs milk as it can cause diarrhoea;
instead provide plain, fresh water in a shallow bowl.
If you are worried about encouraging other (unwanted) animals to your garden you can create a ‘hedgehog feeding station’:
• Get a plastic storage box about 30cm wide by 45cm long (or bigger)
• Either use it with the lid on, or turn the box upside down. Cut a 10cm to 13cm hole in one of the short ends.
• Tape around the cut-out hole
Hedgehogs can be messy eaters, so put plenty of newspaper on the floor of the box
• Put the food at the opposite end so a fox or cat cannot put their long arm in and pull out the food
• Put a brick or heavy weight on top of the box, to stop it being knocked over or the lid pulled off.
• If cats or foxes still try to get in, then place the box about 15cm away from a wall (with the entrance facing towards the wall)
See a video of how to make it here...(link)
Slug pellets can poison hedgehogs - often resulting in its painful death. Even if a hedghog doesn't directly eat the pellets it can eat a slug which has - the effect on the hog is the same.
• Try using beer traps
• Sprinkle ground-up shells around the plants you need to protect.
• Use nematodes - an environmentaly-friendly treatment that is completely harmless to all other wildlife.
• Apply copper tape or hoops around pots.
Try using a garlic wash to protect your plants (great for hostas!)
• 2 Bulbs of garlic
• 2 Pints of water
• Crush the garlic bulbs
• Steam or boil in 2 pints of water for 3 to 4 minutes until blanched
• Strain the mixture and make back up to 2 pints
• Leave to cool
When ready to use, mix one tablespoon of the mixture in five litres of water and sprinkle on to leaves in late afternoon (in dry weather). Re-apply every two weeks. The mixture dries on the leaves making them unappealing to slugs and snails!