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How To Help Hedgehogs In Your Garden
By Ark Wildlife
29th May 2014
Last Updated: 19th April 2023
Facts show the UK Hedgehog population has been in steep decline in recent years and our domestic gardens now accommodate the vast majority of their remaining number. However the good news is it’s really easy to help them thrive with just a few simple tips.
An unmistakable small garden mammal with a body covered in sharp spines. Being nocturnal, you may first become aware of your night-time visitors by their loud snuffling noises as they forage for food, or the unmistakable trail of coarse elongated droppings on lawns and patios in the morning.
Find out more about hedgehogs and their habits
The Hedgehog Year
Our native hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) lives in gardens year round but hibernates through the winter months. This conserves energy during the colder months when food is scarce. Becoming active in March and April they will forage nightly, breeding from May onward as long as the weather continues to be mild. By September hedgehogs will be seeking to pile on as much fat as possible. Sometimes doubling their weight, to get the reserves of energy needed to see them safely through hibernation.
Find out more about the hedgehog year
Hazards for Hedgehogs
Our gardens can present hedgehogs with a number of unique dangers but with a little care, these can be removed and avoided, greatly reducing accidental injury and deaths. Without knowing it, such seemingly innocent garden features as compost heaps, ponds and garden netting can be death traps to hedgehogs.
Find out how to avoid hazards for hedgehogs
Ark Wildlife have been championing the cause of hedgehogs over two decades and we are the UK’s leading supplier of hedgehog products. We produce hedgehog food to our own carefully formulated recipes, with guidance from all the leading hedgehog rehabilitation centres. We manufacture hedgehog houses and feeding stations for hedgehogs that have been designed with many exclusive features, gleaned from years of field testing and customer feedback. If you wish to help the hedgehogs in your garden, you can confidently purchase any of the following items in the full knowledge they will increase the wellbeing of your garden visitors. We also sell hedgehog house starter kits which contain everything you need to start attracting hedgehogs into your garden.
It’s also important to create access gaps in your fences to help hedgehogs pass through – you can use hedgehog highway signs to mark these hedgehog gaps.
Interesting Hedgehog Facts
- Hedgehogs will roam about 2 miles each night while foraging
- Their natural defense is to curl up in a ball
- Hedgehogs are immune to adder venom
- Hedgehogs have 5,000 or more spines
- They have muscles under their skin allowing them to bristle their spines when threatened
- Hedgehogs may have up to 11 young in a single litter
- There are 15 species of hedgehog in the world
- In hot climates hedgehogs sleep through hot and drought conditions, called aestivation, it’s similar to hibernation
- Baby hedgehogs are born spineless
Championing the Hedgehog
Ark Wildlife have been supporting hedgehogs for decades and as a business actively support the dedicated front line hedgehog carers throughout the UK. We support hedgehog charities by direct donations as well as sponsoring special events and exhibitions. We work closely with rescue hospitals and rescue centres promoting ‘best practice’ and publicising the dangers as well as the opportunities to help preserve these endangered creatures. Our ultimate aim to help reverse the decline in their numbers.
- The British Hedgehog Preservation Society
- What to do if you find a baby hedgehog – a guide by the RSPCA
- The State of Britain’s Hedgehogs 2022 report