Hedgehog Awareness Week 2019 • Lynne Garner

If you've read some of my previous posts you'll know I have a bit of a passion for hedgehogs. Well, some would say it was more of an obsession. Which, I tend to agree with as I run a hedgehog rescue from my back garden.

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I do try not to be 'bang' on about them to much on here. However, as it's Hedgehog Awareness Week this week (5th May - 11th May) I felt it was a good week to ignore myself and write a piece about hedgehogs.

Meet Doug,
who I hand reared from a few days old last year.
Now did you know hedgehog numbers have plummeted? In 1995 there were an estimated 1.5 million, now it's believed we have fewer than a million!

Scary isn't it?

However, there is a little ray of sunshine trying to peek through that thick grey cloud. It was recently discovered that although we are still losing hedgehogs in the countryside our urban population are fairing a little better. The speed of the loss of established populations is slowing down, and in some areas may even be staying the same.

This means we have a real chance of helping them before it's too late. So, with this in mind here are my top tips for helping hedgehog numbers recover.

Firstly, make your garden a hedgehog haven by encouraging them into your garden by:

  • Installing a hedgehog home
  • Leaving out meaty cat/dog food or hedgehog food and water  
  • Making holes at ground level in your fence (13cm x 13cm)

Then try to protect them from injury by:

  • Making sure your pond has a shallow area or an escape ramp  
  • Checking long grass and under bushes before using a strimmer
  • Pegging netting 15cm up from the ground, so a hedgehog doesn’t get caught
  • Taking care with bonfires - make on the day or relocate before lighting  
  • Not using chemicals such as slug pellets and insecticides
  • Thinking like a hedgehog. What could I get caught in or hurt by? What ever your answer simply remove it.

Knowing when to help can be difficult. So if they are: 

  • Visibly hurt/injured
  • Caught or trapped
  • Screaming, running in circles or wobbling when they walk
  • Lying out in the open, especially if they are being buzzed by flies
  • Have bald patches
  • Small, especially if they are 'chirping'
  • Large fist sized or smaller after September (600g or less)

Then they need help. ASAP!

However, if you see a hedgehog out during the day carrying grass or leaves, looking busy then this is a female nest building. Simply keep an eye on her and enjoy watching nature in action.   

If you do find a hedgehog in need of help then:

  • Put on a pair of gloves and pick up. If you don't have gloves then use a towel to scoop up 
  • Place in high sided container with a towel to snuggle into
  • Provide food and water
  • Keep indoors for safe keeping
  • If small or cold and has no open wounds then provide direct heat with a covered hot water bottle
  • Then find help ASAP   

Finally if you'd like to keep up-to-date with my hoggy news then please do like the Herts Hogline Facebook page.

Blatant plug time

Love a short story? Then check out my various collections of short stories (available as ebooks and paperback):

Hedgehog of Moon Meadow Farm (ebook 99p/99¢ - 10 stories)

Fox of Moon Meadow Farm (ebook 99p/99¢ - 10 stories)

Ten Tales of Brer Rabbit (ebook 99p/99¢ - 10 stories)

Ten Tales of Coyote  (ebook 99p/99¢ - 10 stories)

Anansi The Trickster Spider (ebook £1.49/$1.49 - 16 stories)


Sandra Horn said…
Lovely post! Thank you, Lynne. Our hedgehog visitors are a source of great delight, monitored by motion-sensitive cameras to be enjoyed the next morning.

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