Making your garden Hedgehog friendly

Avoid using slug pellets.

Make it easy for them to come in by making holes in/gaps under fences. If you have hedges, avoid having chicken wire barriers in them. They need holes of approx 15cm/6in diameter. They can climb, but are unlikely to scale a 6 foot fence.

Have water available in your garden for them (and all other wildlife) to drink. If you have a pond, give them an escape ramp of some sort, they can swim but are not able to do so indefinitely.

If you want to feed them, don’t leave bread and milk for them, as this is actually bad for their tummies. Dog or cat food is better, left out overnight. Apparently they like chicken flavour,  but avoid all fish. They will eat unsalted peanuts and apparently some cheese. The risk of dog/cat food is that you will simply be feeding foxes (and possibly dogs and cats). It is possible to buy dried foods (eg Spike’s and Ark wildlife) specifically for hedgehogs which should avoid this problem (eg Shoreline pets in the Mulberry parade, Goring stock some).

For hibernating, a loose woodpile is ideal, but you can either buy hedgehog houses, or make one. The basic requirement is a dry chamber, with an entrance tunnel approx 13cm diameter, long enough to prevent a fox from reaching into the chamber. Ideally the tunnel should slope down slightly from the chamber, to prevent water running in. The chamber should be covered with a waterproof material, and preferably then covered in earth or vegetation, and a supply of suitable bedding material such as straw and leaves nearby is useful. The home should be in a quiet, cool, shady spot, with the entrance facing away from cold winds (not North or Northeast). An old plastic milk crate with the internal partitions removed is suitable. If making one of wood, avoid material which is treated with preservatives, other than water-based. Approx 30 x 30 x 40cm/15 x 15 x 19 in. internal size. Avoid disturbing it if there is a resident!, one way to check in the Spring is to put a light obstruction over the entrance and see if it is pushed out of the way overnight. In the summer it is a good idea to clean it out, an organic pyrethrum powder suitable for caged birds is ok.

For further information, do have a look at an excellent website –

Information provided by Graham Tuppen (5.7.2017)