If you want to encourage Hedgehogs into your garden this Autumn and Winter, here's some tips. Hedgehogs are often nicknamed ‘the gardener’s friend’, and for good reason too. They feed on pests and are extremely cute visitors. So how can you encourage them into your garden?
The hedgehog will eat slugs, beetles, caterpillars and many other insects and bugs which pester your plants. Whilst they shouldn’t be kept as pets, a hedgehog will make a good friend who will do no harm but, if treated with respect, will come back to say hello from time-to-time. If you start to see a hedgehog in your grounds then you can be a part of making their life a happy and safe one in return for their gardening skills. This means helping them avoid man-made hazards, such as slug pellets, ponds, pools, grids and nets.
If your new friend swings by pretty often then it might be worth thinking about assisting them with a little home in the form of a place for them to nest when it gets cold. Babies born in the upcoming winter months are much less likely to make it without a nest and other hedgehogs can become predators when it comes to weak hoglets (which is the name for baby hedgehogs) making their lives even more difficult.
Hedgehogs normally hibernate from November to March so if you want to invite them into your garden for the winter, its getting close to the time to start piling up some leaves and making a little rough patch for them to get cosy. Some tips from the British Hedgehog Preservation Society in regards to what to feed hedgehogs are as follows. Hedgehogs enjoy:
- Meaty cat or dog food
- Cat biscuits
- Chopped and unsalted peanuts or sunflower hearts (not seeds)
- Fresh water
- NEVER COWS MILK
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