Help our hedgehogs!

May 1st – 7th is national Hedgehog Awareness Week

It’s Hedgehog Awareness Week from Sunday May 1 and East Devon District Council’s Countryside team is giving top tips on how we can help them thrive.

The week is run by the Hedgehog Preservation Society and aims to highlight the problems faced by hedgehogs and encourage the public to help them.

The Countryside team has some great ideas on how we can all do our bit to help our prickly friends!

Hedgehogs are one of the UKs most loved animals, and are very important for our ecosystem, their numbers are in steep decline and according to hedgehog campaign group, Hedgehog Street we have lost a third of our hedgehogs in ten years.

Trainee Ranger, Laura Goble says that you can introduce some simple way to help hedgehogs such as:

  • Leaving piles of old leaves and wood for hedgehogs to use as their home – if you plan to have a bonfire, check for hedgehogs before lighting any waste
  • Cutting small holes in the bottom of garden fences allows hedgehogs to move between gardens for food and shelter
  • Leaving a shallow bowl of water and cat food, dried mealworm or crushed sunflower hearts for hedgehogs to eat and drink (never feed hedgehogs milk or bread)
  • Avoiding slug pellets and other pesticides which cause illness to hedgehogs

Laura added:

Baby hedgehogs, known as ‘hoglets’ are born in May, June and July. As babies are born. their habitats and food supply become even more vital, so now is the perfect time to take action and encourage hedgehogs into your garden.

As nocturnal animals it is a good sign if you do not see hedgehogs during the day, but keep an eye out on your garden lawn during dusk and at night and you may be lucky enough to spot one!”

You can find out more about Hedgehog awareness week on the British Hedgehog Preservation Society website: http://www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk/hedgehog-awareness-week-2016/

If you spot a hedgehog in your garden you can record it on the Hedgehog Street website, a campaign which aims to ensure hedgehogs do not become endangered. The link is  http://www.hedgehogstreet.org/