It's the breeding season for hedgehogs, and it's as important as ever to give these loveable creatures a helping hand where possible.
Although their natural habitat is woodland, our urban gardens are also favoured by them due to the plentiful supply of food and shelter. If they are very lucky, someone might have left hedgehog food out for them, too.
Hedgehog Awareness Week is organised by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) between the 5th and 11th May to highlight the problems hedgehogs face and what we can do to help them.
This year the charity is asking people to make a space for them to live in their gardens. This could be as simple as a log pile or leaving a wild area, which would also have the added benefit of attracting lots of creepy crawlies for them to feast on. Please remember to check these areas carefully before mowing or strimming, or indeed before digging your fork into the compost heap!
There are also a number of hedgehog houses available on the market. The best ones have a small tunnel entrance to prevent predators entering, and can accommodate a family. Simply place in a sheltered spot in the garden and wait for some new inhabitants. You could disguise the house by covering in twigs, leaves, moss etc, or why not get the kids to make them a 'welcome' sign or door plaque?
Of course, it is much easier to attract hedgehogs to your garden if they can easily find their way in and out. It is recommended to leave a gap or hole (around the size of a CD case) in boundary fences and walls where possible, to allow free movement between neighbouring gardens.
Other tips include: ensuring a safe route out of ponds, keeping any netting at a safe height for them to pass under, stopping the use of pesticides and slug pellets in the garden, and covering any drains or deep holes. As ever, please check very carefully before burning piles of garden rubbish - ideally move the pile to a new site before burning.
Here at RWBF, we have a wide range of hedgehog houses, feeding dishes and specialist hedgehog foods available. Why not take a look and see how you could help our little spiny friends! Please remember to leave a shallow dish of fresh drinking water out for them too.
RWBF Hedgehog Products >
You can donate to the cause at JustGiving/HAW19 and upload your photos to social media during Hedgehog Awareness Week by using #hedgehogweek
For more information about our hedgehog products, don't hesitate to get in touch. You can call us on 014896785 or submit an email enquiry using our 'contact us' form.