Helping our hedgehogs

on Wednesday, 14 May 2014. Posted in N21 Community

 

 

 

The People's Trust for Endangered Species in association with the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) have created a simple list of 10 ways for all of us to contribute to securing a future for our prickly national wildlife icon:

 

1. Rescue hedgehogs – sick or injured hedgehogs can be saved by expert care. If you see an animal of concern, put it in a box with a towel and call the BHPS on 01584 890 801

 

2. Create a wild corner – Allow a corner of your garden (or more if you can spare it) to grow long or sow a mix of native grasses and wildflowers (lesser knapweed, ox-eye daisy, yarrow, cocksfoot) so it provides the perfect daytime nesting area

 

3. Turn allotments and vegetable beds into havens – As long as you avoid chemicals and don't fence your plot with netting or chicken wire, hedgehogs can provide the best pest control

 

4. Breakdown barriers - open up your garden to your neighbours and adjacent habitat by cutting 13cm x 13cm holes at the bottom of fences or make small tunnels underneath. These will be too small for pets but big enough for hogs

 

5. Offer extra food – Supplement natural foods with meat based cat/dog food, crushed unsalted peanuts, mealworms or raisins. (Most important in November – March, the usual hibernation period)

 

6. Provide nesting places – Create a natural woodpile against the edge of your garden and suitable habitat – this will provide invertebrate play and a place to nest

 

7. Avoid chemicals – Go chemical free, using weedkiller reduces the availability of earthworms (a key prey item) and slug pellets can also make hedgehogs very ill

 

8. Plant a tree – If space allows, plant an oak, beech, hornbeam or lime tree (from a reliable native source) as these trees provide the ideal leaf size for hedgehogs to make their winter hibernation nest

 

9. Make a compost heap - They provide fantastic invertebrate prey habitat. Start a mound of decaying plant matter in a spot that's accessible to hedgehogs an open to the elements (not covered heaps or bins)

 

10. Spread the word – Hedgehog conservation is all about working together and connecting landscapes so pass this message on and encourage others to do the same

 

Remember if you see a hedgehog to send your sightings into the local record centre (which in Enfield is GiGL: http://www.gigl.org.uk/online/submitrecord.aspx so that this information can be used to inform management plans and avoid adverse impacts to hedgehog populations by developers.

 

For more information visit: www.hedgehogstreet.org and take part in the national survey at www.ptes.org

 

Sophie Hinton

Biodiversity Officer*

Regeneration & Environment

London Borough of Enfield

PO Box 56, Civic Centre

Silver Street

Enfield EN1 3XA

Tel: 0208 379 5460

ten simple things you can do to protect our endangered hedgehogs

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