You can also create a ‘feeding station’ which will only allow hedgehogs to get in and prevent other animals such as cats, dogs, foxes from stealing the hedgehog’s food. You can use a couple of bricks with some tiles on top, or a plastic storage box with a 5” hole cut in one of the short ends (remember to tape over the cut edges) and then line with newspaper as hedgehogs are messy eaters. Add a heavy weight to the top to stop it being knocked over and you are ready. Each evening place a dish of meat-based dog or cat food inside the feeding station, together with a bowl of dry mix made up of cat biscuits, unsalted crushed peanuts, sunflower hearts, and dried mealworms (their favourite).
It is not only hedgehogs that are out and about in Spring but gardeners as well. Whilst the hedgehog is the gardeners' friend the gardener is not always the hedgehogs' friend. Many of the jobs we do in our gardens can affect and even harm the hedgehogs. So please take care when using strimmers, mowers and other garden machinery. Allow an area of your garden to go wild – the hedgehogs will love it and so will the many insects which are the main part of a hedgehog’s diet.
Hedgehogs are not territorial but they do have home patches. A females’ home patch will be just big enough to support her and her hoglets. A males’ patch will be much larger in the breeding season as they wander long distances searching for females. So if you see a hedgehog on a regular basis in the springtime it is more likely to be a female. If you are able to leave food out each night then this will encourage any females to stay around and she may even bring her hoglets to your garden for a feed.
More advice and tips available from the Warrington Hedgehog Forum on Facebook.
Article written by Irene Thomson