Hedgehogs will soon be stirring from their winter hibernation in search of a good meal and we can all help our population by leaving out dishes of white meat-based dog or cat food in jelly, dried mealworms and a shallow dish of water. Once they find a food source, these pleasant and inoffensive mammals will keep visiting you every night.
The old story that hedgehogs like nothing more than bread and milk is hopelessly outdated – indeed, both cause hogs a nasty stomach upset and result in dehydration and possible death.
Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals – if you see one out during the daytime it is in trouble. See the advice on the BHPS website for what to do when you stumble across one in the day. Also, once you’ve settled the hedgehog please do feel free to contact us on 0758 858 5991.
Another hedgehog warning is for residents thinking of mowing or strimming the grass in their properties. Please do a quick check of tall grass to make sure there are no hedgehogs in residence – many hogs suffer completely avoidable injuries at this time of the year.
It would also be helpful to avoid using slug pellets (which are bad for birds and hedgehogs), and ensure any netting you put up is at least 6 inches off the ground, preferably more.
If you have a pond, try to have a slope at one end, or add stones at one end to allow trapped hedgehogs to clamber up them if they wander into a pond by mistake (hogs are surprisingly good swimmers, but quickly tire, hence they need an escape route).
For those that aren’t aware, hedgehogs are now a protected species in need of conservation in the UK, with their population in some areas falling by 50% in the last 10 years. Currest estimates suggest they could be extinct by 2020 unless humans lend a helping hand.
If anyone wants to discuss hedgehogs in general please contact us.