Steve C's LOGO
[ Home > Hedgehogs > Owning ]

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 visit.

  • 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.

Written by SteveC