Mags Feest has requested that we publish this information – which can be found on the Hedgehog Preservation website (and much more!) by clicking here and for the full website click here
BRITISH HEDGEHOG PRESERVATION SOCIETY
A guide to helping hedgehogs
1. Avoid using pesticides and slug pellets in your garden.Not only can these harm hedgehogs but also damagetheir food chain. Use organic methods instead.
2. Make sure hedgehogs have easy access to yourgarden. Ensure boundary fences or walls have a 13cm x 13cm gap in the bottom toallow hedgehogs to pass through. Keep a corner of your garden wild to offer shelter,protection and natural food for hedgehogs and other wildlife. Encourage hedgehogsinto your garden, but you should never just move one in from another area, as it maywell have a nest of dependent young that you would be condemning to death.
3. Provide a shallow dish of fresh water for all wildlife, and food such as hedgehog food,meaty cat or dog food or cat biscuits for hedgehogs, especially during long dry spells.
4. Make or buy a hedgehog home, this offers a hibernation site safe from predators inthe winter. It may also be used as a nesting box for a mother and her hoglets in thewarmer months. The British Hedgehog Preservation Society can provide a leaflet onbuilding a hedgehog home and sells one in its shop (see www.britishhedgehogs.org.ukor contact details over).
5. Check areas thoroughly for hedgehogs and other wildlife before strimming or mowing.Keep pea netting 22-30cms (9 – 12") off the ground so hedgehogs can pass underand plants will grow to the netting.
6. Dispose of litter responsibly. Every year hedgehogs are injured by litter and starve todeath by getting trapped in discarded rubbish.
7. Bonfires offer a tempting home for a hedgehog. Ideally collected materials should bere-sited just before the fire is to be lit, if this is not possible, the base should be lifted upwith poles or broom handles (not a fork!) and a torch shone in to look for any wildlifeor pets in need of rescue before lighting.
8. Hedgehogs are good swimmers but can become trapped in ponds or pools withsheer sides. Keep water levels topped up, provide a gently sloping edge if possible orplace half submerged rocks in the water as an escape for them.
9. Cattle grids can be a problem, hedgehogs fall in and become trapped, a simple rampplaced in the grid will save lives. The surface should be rough to enable the escapeeto gain a foothold.
10. Finally, take care on the roads, hedgehogs are nocturnal so are often seen out atnight. A hedgehog's natural natural defence mechanism is to roll into a ball – this is nomatch for a motor vehicle.