We're supporting Hedgehog Awareness Week, and hedgehogs generally, by making sure our operatives check for hedgehogs before using mowers, strimmers, and other machinery that threatens this protected species.
Hedgehog Awareness Week runs from 30th April to 6th May '17. Organised by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society it highlights the problems hedgehogs face and how they can be helped.
The British hedgehog population is in serious decline. Research indicates that populations have fallen by 30% in towns, and 50% in the country, since the turn of the century. So how can we all help?
The British Hedgehog Preservation Society says that the best way of helping hedgehogs is to help them avoid man-made hazards, and providing them with suitable places to nest. Hedgehogs love slugs, beetles and caterpillers, and they do no harm, so if you're lucky enough to have a hedgehog population in your garden, do your best to look after them, and prevent them from harm.
- Avoid using slug pellets which will poison your hedgehog visitors. Or if you can't accept the slugs, place pellets in a spot inaccessible to hedgehogs, and remove dead slugs daily.
- Use other garden pesticides as sparingly as possible.
- Provide hedgehogs with an exit from garden ponds by creating sloping slipways around the edge of the water. Cover swimming pools at night time, and place floats near the side for hedgehogs to clamber onto.
- Take care when tidying piles of leaves and other garden debris that you're not disturbing a hedgehog nest.
- Hedgehogs can get their heads stuck in tins and pots put out in the rubbish. Keep refuse bags off the ground so they can't get in!
- Keep outbuildings, garages and greenhouses closed at night so hedgehogs don't become trapped.
- Make sure there's an access hole in fences and walls allowing hedgehogs to move freely garden to garden.
- Cover drains and deep holes
- Keep netting at a safe height to prevent hedgehogs becoming tangled and trapped.
- Make sure your dog is hedgehog friendly, or kept under control! And don't worry ? hedgehog fleas are specific to hedgehogs and won't infest your pets.
- A suitable hedgehog diet includes hedgehog food, meaty cat or dog food or cat biscuits. They need plenty of water, NOT cow's milk.
- Hedgehogs hibernation period is roughly November to March. It's important to check there are no nests under garden bonfires, or to move rubbish to a new site before setting fire to it.
To find out more about Hedgehog Awareness Week, how you can get involved, and for masses of hedgehog-related information, visit the British Hedgehog Preservation Society's
The Streetwise Team