Things you can do to help.
The best ways of helping hedgehogs is by helping them to avoid man-made hazards and providing them with suitable places to nest, especially in the winter.
Below on this page are a number of things that you can do to help.
(please note that this page has been superseded by our Wildlife Gardening page)
You can also help us to help the hogs in with us. Please see the bottom of this page for items that we always need.
Hedgehogs need to be able to travel through several gardens a night. A simple 5 inch gap in a fence allows hedgehogs the freedom they need to find food and nesting opportunities.
Pesticides and Pellets - use alternatives
Chemicals can be dangerous to hogs causing internal damage and even if not directly eaten they can still be indirectly affected by being absorbed by the food they eat. So please try to use natural methods in the garden, why not try a beer trap for those slugs instead of pellets.
The hedgehog is known as ‘the gardener’s friend’ as it will eat slugs, beetles, caterpillars etc., and does no harm, so if you have a garden a hedgehog is to be encouraged. Although in the media they can be heavily promoted as slug eaters please be aware that their primary food is beetles, caterpillars and earthworms so provide habitat for 'bugs' not just slugs in your garden.
Always store chemicals off the ground as hedgehogs will explore. Also please consider not using pesticides and herbicides in the garden even if hedgehogs do not come directly into contact with them they kill the food that hedgehogs need to survive.
Netting - use with caution
Hedgehogs are curious and get easily tangled in netting which in most cases leads to amputation and possibly with the hedgehog dying or having to be put to sleep. Please keep netting around 12" off the ground and keep it taught so little legs can't become entangled in it. Put unused nets away after use.
Ponds - make it hog friendly
Ponds provide wonderful habitat for wildlife and Hedgehogs can swim but they can also drown if they cannot get out of a pond so please ensure that there are gentle slopes around the edges for them to be able to get out.
long grass is great for a wildlife garden but if you do decide to cut it please look out for anything that might be living there as a Hedgehog doesn't have much chance against a strimmer or mower.
make a great place for a hog to snuggle down into so always check for hedgehogs before sticking a spade or a fork into them.
Litter - bin it, don't find me in it!
Tins, jars and those horrible 4 pack plastic rings are all a danger field for Hedgehogs as they will explore them and may get stuck in them, so it's best to bin it rather than find a Hedgehog in it!
Keep drains covered so that hedgehogs do not fall into and become stuck down them.
Don't lock me in.
Keep shed, greenhouse and garage doors closed at night so hedgehogs are not tempted to make a nest in them and perhaps become trapped when doors are permanently closed.
Leave something out for me
A meat based cat or dog food, either chicken or rabbit flavour, or dried hedgehog food or dog/cat biscuits. Chopped unsalted peanuts, sunflower hearts, chopped apple, digestive biscuits, and especially dried meal worms, oh and some water as well but not Milk.
Create a Wildlife Garden
A wildlife garden, some long grass and wild flowers left to grow creates a whole new world in your garden great for a whole variety of insects which then benefits the birds and mammals. It's a place for me to explore and feel secure and also to dine out in!
Create a Woodpile
A woodpile will maybe give me a place to nest but it also as the wood rots down will become covered by moss and full of insects which is what I need.
Plant or keep a Hedge instead of a fence.
Hedges create wonderful wildlife corridors and also allow mammals to roam between gardens freely. They also provide berries and fruits for wildlife as well as nesting places for birds and mammals such as hedghogs. If you do install a fence or a wall try to provide a hole so hedgehogs can continue to pass from your garden into your neighbour’s gardens without difficulty. Hedgehog need to travel through a number of gardens in a night.
Hedgehogs can have a couple of litters of hoglets a year. From the end of April right through to the end of September so please always check before you work and if you do acidenttaly uncover a nest- recover straight away and contact a rescue.
Colder Nights and getting ready for hibernation
As the nights get colder and the natural food available for Hedgehogs depletes the hedgehogs need to gain weight ready for hibernation. You can help by leaving out some meat based cat or dog food (either chicken or rabbit flavour not fish flavoured) and / or some cat / kitten biscuits along with a bowl of water (not cows milk). This will help supplement their natural diet and allow them to put on fat reserves to help them survive the winter and hibernation.
To attract wildlife to your garden leave wild areas and avoid tidying up too much. Hedgehogs tend to hibernate between November and mid March and may choose the stack of leaves or branches in your garden. If you have to get rid of these materials move them to a different spot before disposing of them - a hedgehog may be sheltering or hibernating in it. They like to nest under things such as sheds, hedges and brushwood and they need plenty of dry leaves to build their nest. Or even better keep those piles of leaves and branches.
Helping us to help the Hogs.
As a self funded operation we are very grateful for any donation to help us with the costs of running the rescue unit.
There are two ways you can help us either with help with some of the items on our list below or by any financial donation large or small.
We always need:
Everyday items necessary to run the unit.
Disposable Gloves - Newspaper - Kitchen Roll - Cloths - Hand Gel - Pet shop straw (not used) - 1ml Syringes (sealed) - Bags of Dry Kitten or Puppy food - Tins of Cat or Dog food - Tubs of dry meal worms (for treats).
Items that allow us to care for more hogs.
Cat carriers - the rigid plastic type - Electric heat pads - microwaveable snuggle pads - Small high sided food bowls or Ramekins - Blankets.
If you would like to donate money which allows us to make purchases of items such as the above, but that can also help us to cover:
Emergency Vets bills - Medication costs - Rescue Area Heating costs - Future planned items such as incubators.
Please contact us either by phone or email, if you think that you may be able to help us, help our hedgehogs.
Other ways to help
You can make a donation to us via paypal.
You can also support us by searching and purchasing through Easy Fundraising, it doesn't cost you anything simply purchase from your favourite stores through Easy Fundraising and those participating stores donate a proportion of the sale to our cause. Just follow the link to our cause
We sometimes find it hard to find a food that all of the hedgehogs will eat.
ArkWildlife Hedgehog food is snaffled down by over 90% of our hogs with good results.
You can now help us by using the link below to purchase wildlife food from ArkWildlife with a percentage of the sale being donated to us by ArkWildlife.
In order for the donation to be made the link below must be used.
Thank you Charlie and Jayne - Willows hedgehog Rescue.