How To Make Your Garden Hedgehog Friendly

Credit: People's Trust for Endangered Species

1. Make your garden safe and accessible

  • Allow hedgehogs to enter and exit your garden by cutting a hole in your fence about the size of a CD case.
  • Don’t use slug pellets as these are poisonous to hedgehogs.
  • Cover ponds with wire or provide a ladder (plank of wood or stone pile) for them to climb on if they happen to fall in. Many hedgehogs die each year after falling into ponds and becoming trapped. 
  • Look out for hedgehogs when clearing garden rubbish as they may be hiding within it.

2. Provide food & water

  • Leave out some tinned meaty cat or dog food. You can also buy special hedgehog food from pet shops.
  • Put out some clean water in a shallow dish.
  • Never give hedgehogs milk or bread as these can make them very ill.

3. Make a hedgehog hibernation house

Hedgehogs will naturally hibernate in piles of dead leaves, log piles or compost heaps. But you can buy or even make a special hedgehog hibernation house to ensure they have somewhere to shelter.

To make a house you will need:

  • a big box made of strong cardboard or plastic
  • a Stanley knife
  • some dry leaves or straw
  • a sheet of plastic big enough to cover the top
  • some long twigs.

Cut a hedgehog-sized entrance, and two ventilation holes about 15x5cm. Place the dry leaves or straw inside the box and place it next to a hedge or fence away from human disturbance or artificial light. Put the sheet of plastic on top and then arrange the long twigs over it to make an arch. Cover it with leaves and dry grass to disguise it.