How to get a Hedgehog
Unfortunatly, hedgehogs a deemed a wild animal in the UK and
cannot be bought and sold.
What you can do, however, is to encourage a hedgehog to visit
your garden during the night by making it hedgehog friendly.
Never just pick up a hedgehog from somewhere and put
it into your garden - it may have left young that need looking
after in it's nest. You moving it into unnatural surroundings
where perhaps it cannot get back to it's nest, could condemn the
babies to an early death.
Instead, you should change the surroundings of your garden to
encourage a visit from out spiny friend. Even in the middle of a
town, plenty of hedgehogs will be living nearby.
Here are some pointers as to how to encourage a hedgehog to
- Firstly, you need to let the hedgehog have access to your
garden. It is no good having a completely enclosed garden
surrounded by concrete or wood walls. Although a hedgehog will
climb, it is more likely to squeeze through a small hole that
is in the fence.
- Once in the garden the hedgehog would look for places to
hide, a purpose made shelter, such as an upturned wooden fruit
box with a hole cut in one side and filled with straw / leaves,
would prove ideal. So would a small area of longer grass, a
woodpile or even a compost heap.
- You may need to feed the hedgehog, follow the link to the food page.
- You should also try and protect the hedgehog from as much
danger as possible.
- Ensure any ponds have chicken wire hanging over one end to
allow hedgehogs to escape if they fall into the pond.
- If you use netting anywhere in the garden, ensure that it
is the smallest type that you can use, to avoid the hedgehog
getting entangled in it.
- Never use slug pellets. The poisons from these chemicals
can stay in the bodies of dead slugs and can be passed on if
the slug is eaten by a hedgehog. Use beer traps instead. Beer
traps are small pots, sunk into the ground and partly filled
with beer. A slug is attracted to the edge of the pot and will
fall in and drown... with a smile on it's face! Ensure the pot
is too small for a hedgehog to fall into though!
- If you are turning over a compost heap with a garden fork,
be careful... there may be a hedgehog hiding underneath.
- Similarly, especially around the autunm time, if you are
planning a bonfire and have stacked up some wood ready, don't
stack the wood in the final position. Stack it elsewhere and
move it shortly before the fire. This can help you to avoid
cooking a hedgehog which has spotted your pile of firewood as
a cosy place to bed down for the winter.
- When using a garden strimmer, especially in long grass, be
on the lookout for a hedgehog hiding in the undergrowth. They
should not be out during the daytime when strimmers are in
use, but it would not be the first time that a hedgehog would
be killed by a strimmer blade.