As the warmer months arrive, activity starts to pick up - and not just in terms of the need to prepare garden borders, clear up winter debris like dead leaves from your lawn with your leaf blower or garden vac or chopping logs with your chainsaw and cleaning patios and footpaths!
While the warmer months require the garden expert to ramp up activity, wildlife also starts to become more active.
One animal that requires special attention and consideration as you head outdoors is the hedgehog. These spikey charismatic creatures have struggled over the years to the extent that they are now officially classified as “vulnerable to extinction”.
With a little bit of care and consideration, you can help hedgehogs to survive. Here are some facts and tips to help you:
Help with hedgehogs hibernation
Before the warmer months arrive, hedgehogs need to hibernate. They typically do this between the months of December and April. Make sure not to disturb them during hibernation as this uses up valuable energy and stored fats that they need to survive.
If you are aware of hibernating hedgehogs in your garden then make sure to reduce activity in that area - whether that’s by keeping kids and pets away or by limiting the use of garden machinery.
If you need to cut down broken branches during the spring months then make sure to check the area for hedgehogs first before getting out the chainsaw.
Create hedgehog highways
Once hedgehogs come out of hibernation, they start to get active, and it’s important for them to be able to move freely between gardens or areas of a garden.
Hedgehog highways have become popular in recent years and you can create your own highways by leaving gaps behind sheds and creating holes in walls and fences for hedgehogs to use as a through-pass.
Check bushes and growth before working on them
If you have a hedge trimmer and are considering using it, make sure to check the lower areas of the hedge or bush first for any signs of hedgehogs being settled there. Similarly, hedgehogs like leaves for creating their nest. If you use a leaf blower or garden vac, check the area for any signs of wildlife.
Hedgehogs like dry leaves and you can help hedgehogs with your leaf blowers and garden vacs by blowing leaves into a pile and putting something underneath (such as a piece of wood) to allow the leaves to dry out.
Leave out food
Leaving out food for hedgehogs is a great way to help them. Below is further advice on what food to use along with some DOs and DON’Ts.
Limit night time activity in your garden
It’s hard to do garden maintenance when it’s darker, but there might be some activities you want to work on. That’s great but bear in mind that hedgehogs are nocturnal and you might come into contact with one that’s busy finding food during the early evenings.
Please note: For safety reasons, we do not advocate the use of garden machinery such as mowers or hedge trimmers when it’s getting darker.
Consider cordless garden machinery
At John Miller Garden Machinery, we offer a range of garden machinery including mowers, chainsaws and hedge trimmers in various forms including petrol and battery-powered.
We have a growing range of cordless, battery-powered garden machinery that tend to be quieter. This can benefit you as well as hedgehogs that might be frightened away by loud noises.
To find out more about our great range of garden machines - buy online or visit our shop in Chippenham, Wiltshire. You might also be interested in some of our hedgehog care frequently asked questions below.
Hedgehog Care Dos and Don’ts:
- Do leave water out for hedgehogs and leave areas of wilderness in your garden for hedgehogs to search - or snuffle for food
- Don’t pick up fit hedgehogs and avoid leaving sacks around the garden as these are dangerous for them
What should I feed a hedgehog?
Encouraging insects in your garden is the best way to help a hedgehog. You can also leave out meat-based food such as dog or cat food. Hedgehogs are lactose intolerant so don’t give them milk. A small bowl or plate of water is perfect.
Can I move a hedgehog that is hibernating in an unsuitable place?
No, you shouldn’t. For safety reasons, hedgehogs should not be disturbed when they are hibernating as it uses up energy that they rely on. If this happens, cover the nest back up with plenty of dry leaves and try to avoid any more disturbance.
Need help with garden machinery?
At John Miller Garden Machinery, we pride ourselves at being your local garden machinery suppliers selling a massive range of garden tools and equipment at our shop in Chippenham. If you are looking for support, please get in touch. We are always happy to help!
Get in touch with our garden machinery shop - call us on 01249 652 573