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Help Hedgehogs Survive the Winter

Since the 1950’s the number of hedgehogs in the UK has fallen by over 37%!

As part of their nationwide campaign, Hedgehog Street have released an interactive map showing where in the UK both live and dead hedgehogs have been found.

Next week sees the start of Wild About Gardens Week (October 26 to November 1). The campaign is seeking to encourage gardeners to leave out food and to create homes to help hedgehogs, birds and insects.

The Royal Horticultural Society and Wildlife Trust have come together for the campaign and created a 16-page hedgehog booklet giving extensive advice and tips on how you can help your local hedgehogs.

Mark Eaton, a conservation scientist at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds said:

“A few decades ago there were tens of millions of hedgehogs in Britain, now we think there are maybe one million left.”

“Most of the reason is down to the change in the way we manage our countryside – the loss of hedgerows and woodlands has removed their habitat and the increase in the use of pesticides has removed a lot of the beetles and other animals they feed on.”

Allowing hedgehogs to travel from garden-to-garden also helps them get to the food needed to survive. Cutting a hole in your fence, no smaller than a household CD/DVD, will help the spikey creatures to go about their business safely.

Hedgehogs need to weigh 600 grams to survive the cold months but lately animal carers are reporting weights of just 500 grams. To help the spikey fellows through the cold simply follow these steps:

How to Help Hedgehogs this Winter

1. Leave clean water for them to drink.

2. They prefer to eat tinned cat or dog food and minced meat and crushed cat biscuits, but avoid anything fish based.

3. Hedgehogs love a chopped boiled egg, but remember to remove the shell first!

3. Never feed them milk as this can cause them pain and diarrhoea.

4. Make a small hole in your garden fence so they can freely travel from garden to garden, like a hedgehog highway.

5. Leave an area of the garden to go wild with overgrown grass and fallen leaves as this attracts insects which the hedgehogs eat such as leatherjackets and beatles.

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