CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Hampshire Life today CLICK HERE

How you can help hedgehogs in Hampshire this autumn

PUBLISHED: 10:34 26 October 2015 | UPDATED: 10:34 26 October 2015

Photo: Tom Marshall

Photo: Tom Marshall

Archant

This autumn, spare a thought for our prickly garden visitors says Deborah Griffiths, Education and Engagement Assistant at The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust

Hedgehogs are now disappearing from our countryside as fast as tigers are worldwide – a shocking state of affairs for a species that was once a common sight in UK gardens. It’s not just hedgehogs in decline, many of our common native wildlife such as house sparrows and starlings are all disappearing from our green spaces due to a variety of reasons, including loss of habitat.

While hedgehogs are suffering in rural areas, some are taking sanctuary in many of our suburban neighbourhoods. With some 15 million gardens in the UK, covering an area larger than all the UK’s National Nature Reserves put together, we have a great opportunity right on our doorsteps to help the humble hog.

Wild About Gardens Week is an annual celebration of garden wildlife hosted by The Wildlife Trust. This October we will be teaming up with the Royal Horticultural Society and the Hedgehog Street campaign to raise awareness of the hedgehog’s plight and encourage everyone to look out for them in our gardens. 


There are some simple steps you can take to help hedgehogs this autumn:

1 - Create hedgehog highways

Hedgehogs need to be able to roam far and wide in search of food, mates and nesting sites – racking up between 1-2km per night. Get together with your neighbours to cut a 13cm2 (5in2) hole in your fence or dig a channel beneath your garden boundaries to connect your gardens. You can pledge to make a hole in your fence and map it at www.hedgehogstreet.org, joining the online community who are taking action in your neighbourhood.

2 - Avoid the use of pesticides

Ditch the slug pellets and avoid the use of pesticides. Hedgehogs are natural pest controllers and need a plentiful and varied supply of invertebrate prey to stay healthy. The higher the number of hedgehogs in your garden, the lower the number of pests – leading to healthier plants and flowers.

3 - Provide nesting sites

Log and leaf piles, wilderness areas and purpose-built hedgehog homes make great places for hedgehogs to nest and hibernate. Fallen leaves also make the perfect nesting material, so make sure you don’t clear all of these away. If you are cleaning away leaves and garden waste, make sure you check thoroughly to prevent any disturbance to our hibernating hogs. You can even try and make your own hedgehog house with nothing more than a cardboard box, newspapers, grass and a carrier bag. General wildlife-friendly gardening tips, like using mulch and compost, allowing areas to grow wild, and growing bee-friendly flowers also help. 


Hedgehogs might be declining, but with some small steps, together we can make sure hedgehogs have a home in our gardens now and for the future. To find out more about hedgehogs and how to make your garden a little wilder, visit www.wildaboutgardens.org.uk.









READ ON

Hampshire walk around Longstock and Danebury Hill - Follow Steve Davison as he heads to the Test Valley and the village of Longstock for a wander up Danebury Hill

More from Out & About

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Savour spectacular views of the Needles and Alum Bay and discover history tales on this invigorating walk on the Isle of Wight

Read more
Monday, November 12, 2018

With late-night shopping, fairs, Christmas markets and plenty of food and drink, we’ve rounded up some of the best festive offerings in Hampshire

Read more
Monday, November 12, 2018

Havant a clue where to go or what to do? Here are some pointers to parks, paths and performances

Read more
Monday, November 12, 2018

With its connections to Shakesepeare and royalty, the village of Titchfield is full of surprises

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

As the mellow fruitfulness of autumn takes hold across the New Forest, what could be better than spending a few days in and around Lyndhurst? We take a tour and come up with our top 8

Read more
Monday, November 5, 2018

Hampshire is full of autumnal scenes this month, so we asked the county’s photographers to share their secret spots for stunning vistas

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

We round up some of the best events and things to do across Hampshire this month

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Remember, remember… Here’s a quick round up of some stunning displays across Hampshire this year

Read more
Monday, October 22, 2018

Is this the ultimate city break? Winchester has it all: from ancient history to space exploration, plus cafes, cocktails, culture and countryside… But with so much to do, choices are going to have to be made

Read more
Monday, October 22, 2018

Our guide to some of the best Halloween events on offer across Hampshire this October

Read more
Monday, October 15, 2018

The community shop is thriving. Why? And what makes the perfect village store? We went in search…

Read more
Monday, October 15, 2018

From Jane Austen to Karl Marx, our towns and villages have fascinating links to some of the biggest historical celebrities. Viv Micklefield follows in their footsteps with the help of a blue plaque or two

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

We round up 8 things you didn’t know about this little South Downs village

Read more
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Enjoy some easy walking around the Lymington to Keyhaven Nature Reserve says Fiona Barltrop

Read more
 
A+ South & South West

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Latest Competitions & Offers

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad

Local Business Directory



Property Search