Our partners Eco sapien found out that hedgehogs in the UK are in trouble. Why not get out there and help them by making your garden hedgehog friendly? In this special episode of Eco How, Phil shows you how.
Hedgehogs have undergone a dramatic decline across the country. According to The Wildlife Trusts, numbers have fallen by 30 per cent in just ten years and there are now thought to be fewer than 1 million left in the UK. They are disappearing from our countryside as fast as tigers are worldwide.
Hedgehogs are most commonly spotted in parks and gardens, where bushes and hedges provide the perfect day-time getaway, and insect-rich lawns and flowerbeds make excellent feeding grounds at dusk. Hedgehogs eat all kinds of invertebrates, as well as amphibians, birds eggs and anything else they can catch; they particularly like big, crunchy beetles, earthworms and slugs, making them a gardener’s best friend.
Gardens, hedgerows, woodlands, grasslands, parkland and cemeteries are all important hedgehog habitats. Adult hedgehogs travel between 1-2km per night over home ranges between 10-20 hectares in size. In suburban areas, this means they range over entire housing estates and neighbourhoods.
Combined, our gardens provide a space for wildlife larger than all our National Nature Reserves, so by gardening in a wildlife-friendly way, we can help our spiny companions to find a home and move safely between habitats to find mates and food.
CREATE A HEDGEHOG HIGHWAY
Hedgehogs need to be able to roam far and wide in search of food, mates and nesting sites. Get together with your neighbours to cut a 13cm2 (5in2) hole in your fence or dig a channel beneath garden boundaries to connect your gardens.
– Facts courtesy The Wildlife Trusts, UK.