Wildlife TV celebrities including Ben Fogel, Bill Oddie and Chris Beardshaw are urging all of us to help save the nation’s hedgehogs by making our gardens a friendlier place for this much-loved yet fast-declining species to live in.
Worrying research by the People’s Trust for Endangered Species has revealed that hedgehogs have declined in number by 30% over the past decade, and there are now thought to be fewer than one million left in the UK. The widespread use of fencing, paving and decking in our gardens have unfortunately contributed to this horrible hedgehog-ageddon.
“Everybody loves hedgehogs! It’s a tragedy that they are disappearing so quickly particularly when it’s so easy to help them,” says Ben Fogle, patron of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society. “We can all have a go at planting a native hedge, creating gaps in fences for them to pass through, leaving leaf or log piles and allowing parts of the garden to grow wild to give them a home.”
“Hedgehogs do a fantastic job in your garden munching up worms in particular, the odd slug occasionally and, I dare say, they’ve been known to crunch open a few snails,” adds Bill Oddie, The Wildlife Trusts’ vice president. “Basically the hedgehog is the gardener’s friend.”
Twiggy, patron of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, has a few practical tips for Britain’s gardeners to follow: “There’s so much that gardeners can do to reverse their decline. You can cut a small hedgehog hole at the bottom of your garden fence, leave wild nesting and hibernation areas, ditch the slug pellets and check that bonfire before striking the match! All so easy to do. Please help these wonderful creatures.”
Help Our Hedgehogs
If you would like to make your garden a safe haven for hedgehogs and other wildlife, check out the Gardening for Wildlife! website for expert tips and advice. We’d also love to share photos of any DIY hedgehog shelters that you have created in your own garden, just use the ‘Leave a Reply’ box below or post them to our Facebook page.
Photo Credit: David Cooper/Hedgehog Street