|Feeding station, but they don't have to be this 'posh'|
This time of year can sometimes be very difficult for the hedgehogs especially if it is a hot month.
The females that already have a family will have a cosy nest, but in hot weather and with 4-5 wriggling hoglets the nest can get very hot for her. Sometimes she may even use another nest in the day and sleep apart from her growing family.
In the hot weather the ground becomes harder and the moisture loving worms and other natural food will become more difficult to find. Added to this her growing family will start to come out with her when she is foraging, so there are even more mouths to feed.
Providing a dish of water and making a feeding station that cats cannot get into can be a great help for mothers and their growing family. There are suggestions for feeding stations on the BHPS’s website but using a paving slab resting on some bricks (place the bricks on their sides) will protect the food from the weather, cats and even larger stronger visitors. Leave a small gap (5” or 13cm square) between 2 of the bricks, so the hedgehogs can come and go, and place the food well back from that gap, so sneaky cats’ paws cannot reach in. In really hot weather the food can go off and flies can be attracted to it so perhaps use some hedgehog biscuits or dried mealworms rather than tinned food. However dry food will make them thirsty so an extra dish of water is essential.
Also make sure your ponds are topped up so any animal that comes to drink from it can easily reach the water and will not topple in. Hedgehogs are good swimmers but if the level of the water is low it may not be able to get out. This also applies to ponds with overhangs and slippery sides. A small section of plastic coated wire netting just going down the side of the pond can act as a scrambling net so the hedgehogs can climb out.
If you find an abandoned hoglet or a sick or injured hedgehog contact us (details on our website) or the BritishHedgehog Preservation Society they can give general advice and perhaps details of a local hedgehog rehabilitator that you can contact (their telephone number is 01584 890801).