At Kebur we believe we have a responsibility to care for our local environment and help our customers learn about the many ways we can support wildlife in our gardens. We were delighted last month to become Hedgehog Champions. Britain’s only spiny mammal, hedgehogs have changed little over the last 15 million years. One of our first steps as champions has been to stock hedgehog friendly gravel boards which help our prickly friends get around between gardens and reach vital sources of food and water.
Hedgehog numbers in UK towns and cities have fallen by a third in the last 10 years, and by half in the countryside. One of the main reasons is that gardens are so often enclosed and don’t have enough wild spaces where the creatures can find food and shelter.
This Spring is the perfect time to make your garden friendlier for hedgehogs. Start with these quick ways you can make your garden safer…
1. Link your garden with a simple hole
A 13cm diameter hole in fencing or a gravel board is enough to allow hedgehogs to pass from one garden to another. The mammals typically travel one mile a night in search of food and a mate so getting around easily is really important to their survival. You can easily cut a hole in a timber fence or gravel board, or use a ready made hedgehog friendly concrete gravel board.
2. Make an escape route from a pond or pool
Although hedgehogs can swim, they can become trapped in ponds or pools and drown. Make a gentle ramp from stones, wood or chicken wire as an escape route out of your pond, and cover swimming pools or check them daily.
3. Check bonfires carefully
A nice pile of garden debris and leaves can be very appealing for hedgehogs looking for somewhere to rest or hibernate. It is best to make up your bonfire on the day you light it or check very carefully before setting fire to one you’ve made already
4. Tidy your netting
Hedgehogs are especially prone to getting tangled up in garden netting because of their spines and their tendency to curl up. This can cause injuries and sometimes be fatal. Make sure you tidy away unused netting and keep it off the ground
5. Careful with chemicals
Slug pellets are harmful to hedgehogs, as are many other insecticides and herbicides. There are plenty of alternative solutions to garden pests that won’t be harmful to hedgehogs. Get some ideas on hedgehog-friendly pest control here.
6. Create a wildlife area
The easiest idea of them all is to leave a wild area in your garden. A leaf pile, logs and loose branches are great for hedgehogs. And let plants grow wild without pruning or cutting back in winter so they give plenty of protection for hedgehogs and the creepy crawlies they eat. Not only will you be doing a big favour for wildlife, but this kind of space can add real charm and character to a garden.