It's Hedgehog Awareness Week - Day 4

It's Hedgehog Awareness Week - a whole week dedicated to raising awareness about the threats hedgehogs face and the actions we can all take to help! 7 days, 7 top tips!

Day 4 - Remove hazards! 

Hedgehogs face so many hazards  - don't let something in your garden add to the list! From pesticides to steep sided ponds, litter and loose netting, there are lots of things you can do in your own garden to make sure it is hedgehog hazard free.

First up, swap your pesticides for an organic alternative. Slug pellets, weed killers - you name it - anything that kills invertebrates is going to have a knock-on effect up the food chain. Check out this list of hedgehog-friendly alternatives to slug pellets on the Hedgehog Street website here. Broken egg shells, coffee granules, copper tape or garlic are just a few ideas to reduce slug efficiency and keep your plants nibble free! Of course the best pest control is the presence of a hedgehog or amphibians like frogs, toads and newts. Why not install a wildlife pond? Tips here. Ensure it's a hazard free pond by creating a shallow beach entrance or installing a nice exit ramp.

Pick up litter and ensure it is always disposed of responsibly. Even better, reduce, reduce, reduce! The less waste we have the better. Elastic bands can be particularly hazardous. See how many you can find on your walk to school/work/the pub. Consider writing to your local sorting office if you find it to be a particular problem in your area.

Check your vegetable or goal post netting isn't loose. Vegetable netting should be pinned tightly to the ground so that hedgehogs don't get stuck, and football netting should be lifted from the ground when not in use.

Check before you strim - hedgehogs can often be found resting in areas of long grass, which can make them especially vulnerable to strimming machinery. Check before you strim, and try a high cut, low cut method to minimise the risk of injury. British Hedgehog Preservation Society have a roll of honour for councils and businesses that label up their machinery with stickers reminding the operator of the risks to hedgehogs - request stickers here.

Lastly, check those bonfires before burning! Build on the day you are burning so that there isn't time for hedgehogs or other critters to move in - bonfires look like very attractive nesting sites!

More tips for a hedgehog-friendly garden can be found here.