Gardening tips

Create a woodpile
Creating a woodpile is easy and you never know hedgehogs may build a nest underneath. If left undisturbed for some time, algae and mosses will cover it, attracting insects, becoming a great food source for your hedgehog.

Create a compost heap
As with a woodpile a compost heap will attract mini-beasts which will not only feed hedgehogs but toads and birds. A word of warning before using the compost test the base and sides gently for sleeping wildlife.

No to fences!
Flowering hedges provide flowers and fruits for wildlife, nesting places for birds and cover for hedgehogs, voles and shrews. They are also much more attractive than fences. Recommended hedging species: beech, holly (evergreen winter shelter for roosting birds), buckthorn, dog rose, hazel, goat willow, hawthorn, and berberis. If you do have a fence make holes in the bottom so hedgehogs can travel between gardens more easily.

Wildlife corner
Allow nettles and weeds to take over a corner of your garden. They will provide privacy for small creatures and food for caterpillars and other insects, which in turn will become hedgehog food.

Mini pond/bog garden
An area of water attracts a multitude of creatures including frogs, toads, newts, diving beetles, water scorpions and thirsty hedgehogs. Choose an area away from trees (especially sycamore). One side of the pond should gradually slope to allow hedgehogs and other small wildlife an exit. Butyl rubber pond liners are recommended. Around at least one third of the pond perimeter should include a shelf that is only 5cms (2") below the normal water level. Put stone-free soil on top of the shelf and introduce some native water plants. Recommended water plants: water milfoil, water starwort, miniature water lily, water soldiers (floating plant). If you don't want a pond, perhaps because of small children, an area of bog garden will provide an interesting drinking point for wildlife. Line a shallow depression in your chosen site with pond liner; fill two thirds with soil to hold water. Your bog garden could support: meadowsweet, loosestrifes, marsh marigold, ragged robin, cuckoo flower, cotton grass, bog pimpernel, creeping jenny and reeds.

Hedgehog boxes
Providing nesting boxes for hedgehogs and other creatures might encourage these creatures to reside in your garden, though tenancy cannot be guaranteed! Hedgehog boxes should be sited in a quiet spot hidden by ground covering plants, low shrubs or tree branches.

To purchase ready made boxes contact British Hedgehog Preservation Society Trading Ltd.
Hedgehog House
Ludlow, Shropshire SY8 3PL.

Instruction sheets for making your own boxes can also be acquired from this organization: see website for details.

The basic information included on this page has been reproduced with the kind permission of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (web address above).