Register with us or sign in
in Wildlife gardening
For years we had the pleasure of a resident family of hedge hogs. Sadly we havent seen any for the past 2 years or so. I know there is a big decline in the hedge hog population, but our garden is as "hedgehog friendly" as we can posssibly make it. We live alongside a small copse, and have a large hawthorn hedge separating us from the fields at the rear. This is trimmed once a year and the clippings left in situ. to form a welcoming habitat for hedgehogs. A flock of geese live in the field immediately behind us but I can"t see that would affect hedgehogs. Is there anything else I could do to encourage the hedgehogs back?
Hi Ekay, whereabouts are you (rough location)? We moved to this garden 18 months ago and were thrilled to find hedgehog droppings, and then when my daughter was visiting and sitting out on the bench late one evening (smoking ) she was startled by a rustling in the undergrowth and watched a very large hedgehog snuffling about the garden. 'When we had the new fencing installed our builder cut 'hedgehog gates' in the panels to ensure that hedgehogs could roam from garden to garden, and we started putting a dish of dry hedgehog food out in the evenings and were woken in the early ours of summer mornings by the sounds of the dish being pushed around on the terrace. We also make sure there's a dish of rainwater available every evening, as the dried food is quite 'dry'. The dish is usually half empty in the morning. Although we've had to cut back some of the undergrowth and have some trees removed ('orrible conifers that had been topped and lopped badly) we are replanting shrubs etc to provide cover and in the meantime we're leaving messy corners (piles of old runner bean haulms etc) and put three hedgehog houses in quiet corners (one purchased and two home made). We're 99.9% certain that two are currently occupied by hibernating hedgehogs. We are situated near the edge of a 'suburban village' with marshes, woodland and a golf course nearby and I have been surprised at the amount of wildlife we see in the garden.
Perhaps it might be that there's so much 'hedgehog friendly' habitat where you live that they're spoilt for choice - or maybe they're out there and you've just not seen them - yet
There have been several threads about hedgehogs on this board over the past year or so, including threads about rescuing them when they've been too small to hibernate. I suppose that if you're sure you've not got any hedgehogs nearby and the habitat is suitable you could contact one of the rescue centres and offer a home to one or two?
Ekay, I haven't had any hedgehogs here for many years now and I do everything I can to encourage them. I have been told that many areas around where I live have such overly tidy gardens that there is nothing for the hedgehogs. They roam quite far afield so if there are only a couple of suitable gardens it's not enough habitat for them. And whether or not you believe that slug-poisons etc affect the hoggies, there is the fact that getting rid of their food sources doesn't help them one bit.
I did take on some rescue chaps last year and was told that I must at all costs keep them in my (fairly large) garden and feed them. Despite all my best efforts, they went wandering - my neighbour saw one ambling across her patio last summer and another was seen walking along the pavement,. Sadly, one was found squashed on the road. The rescue people said that finding squashed hedgehogs is actually a good indication that you have a population in your area.
It's worth asking about rescues but be prepared for them to decide to set up home elsewhere!
many thanks for the replies. They are very useful. We did have two large hedges removed. One privet and one leylandi,these were replaced by fencing with no acccess, but there is still a large hawthorne hedge between our garden and the fields at the bottom. We do get plenty of wild life in the garden, unfortunately at the moment several rats are paying us a visit and stealing the bird food. They have probably been driven from their habitat, as the pond in the pond in the wood below us has flooded. May try the hedgehog rescue people when spring arrives. Once again thanks for your interest.
We have found our hedgehogs are creatures of habit - if their usual route has been blocked off they might go elsewhere rather than try to find their way in - we just got our builder to make a hole by cutting out a little doorway in the bottom of the fence in the corner where my daughter first saw the hedgehog appear http://www.hedgehogstreet.org/pages/link-your-garden.html
does anyone know where i can get help i would like to rehome a couple of hedgehogs
This might be a good place to start
Badgers eat hedgehogs.
I've just re homed a family of hedgehogs. They were so young i couldn't put them back into the wild. one was only three and a half oz! I contacted the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and they gave be brilliant information about caring for the hoglets and where and where not to release them. Unfortunately I have a busy road next to my garden, but thankfully have not found any wee bodies! Due to the hot weather some hoglets had wandered across the garden, unfortunately in the direction of the road! so I had to do something! Glad I did, I feel really privileged to have held one of these creatures and they are now out on hedgehog friendly land!
Just had my RHS wild in the garden August email through saying it was a good time to start feeding hedgehogs as the young ones are about. Haven't seen a hedgehog in our garden for 16 years but as my son had built a house for them out of old wood so I thought I would give it a go. In Tescos (of all places)by chance I saw a bag of hedgehog food and on a whim purchased it......and would you Adam and Eve it saw my first hedgehog this evening!!! Talk about coincidence. We immediately opened the food and put it near the base of the hedge where we had seen him/her. Bold as brass the hedgehog came out and started eating. We are absolutely thrilled and it looks as though hedgehog food is going on my shopping list
I find that they also really appreciate a shallow bowl of fresh water put out each evening.
I'm piling up lots of logs and making a nice quiet corner of the garden and hoping my little hoggie will come back again and visit.
I have only ever seen 1 live hedgehog where I live and this was about 5 years ago it was trying to get into our lean to in the winter I think it was too light to hibernatappear do have badgers though and apparently they don't mix!
Since I posted my message above, I am thrilled to report that I have two
hedgehogs regularly visiting my garden. I've started feeding them with tinned
chicken dog food and they love it, but I'm worried about what to do when I go
away for a few days, as they come every evening now for their supper and may
give up if they don't find any food for a few days. Would it be ok for me to leave
little dishes of dry hedgehog food hidden around the garden for them to find or would this attract rodents?
Also where do you buy dried hedgehog food please - can
you get it in pet shops?
I will be very grateful for any help you can give me.
I opened the back door just before 9pm tonight to find a little hedgehog beneath the sunflower seed feeder. he scooted off. I am so pleased because after I found the dead one a few weeks back, I thought that was that. I put out Bakers meaty meals (beefy dried chunks) for the fox, but I think the hedgehog probably has some too. If I put it out too early, the magpies eat it.The backdoor vole likes them too, and the wood mouse.
garden bird supplies (online) sells 4kg packs of hedgehog food, but I suspect they will be happy with cat or dog food. Tesco keeps sending me vouchers for dog stuff. I think they must think I own one.(got to keep the fox family happy)
I got mine in a large Tescos in the pet aisle near the bird food - called The Right food for...hedgehogs - approved by wildlife hospitals etc. Says you can leave it out for a few days - looks like dried cat food but smells completely different. I'm sure chains like Peta at Home etc do it too.
Many thanks for that Daintiness - I'll get some tomorrow!