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How Londoners can help hedgehogs at home

Hedgehog in an Isleworth garden (credit Karen Adams)Hedgehog in an Isleworth garden (credit Karen Adams)

Hedgehogs are in decline, but there are many things we can do to help them

Download your free hedgehogs guideThe Wildlife Trusts have produced a booklet that gives lots of useful advice about what you can do to help hedgehogs in your garden and in your community. To download your copy click here.

In 2017 London Wildlife Trust launched a project called Urban Urchins which aims to map London's hedgehog population and promote awareness of their plight among Londoners. For more information click here.

On this page we highlight some the problems – and solutions – to the decline of hedgehogs in London.

 

What's caused hedgehogs to decline in the capital?

  • Lifeless gardens: increased paving, artifical lawns, decking, and tidier and less natural gardens in general, all contribute to the loss of London's hedgehog habitat;
  • Barriers to movement: more fences and busier roads make it harder for hedgehogs to hunt for food - and find a mate - while also making movement more dangerous;
  • Decline in prey: with falls in the numbers of many of the small animals that hedgehogs eat, such as beetles and slugs (caused in large part by the use of pesticides and slug pellets), there is an inevitable knock-on effect.

We know that creating a city with healthy, connected wildlife habitats is the essential first step in helping our local hedgehog population recover. But we can't do it alone - everyone who lives in London has a part to play.

 

Ten simple steps to helping hedgehogs in London

  1. In gardens or community spaces, create habitats such as rough grassland, scrub, hedges, shallow ponds, log piles and compost heaps;
  2. Create 'hedgehog highways' by simply cutting a hedgehog-sized hole (13x13cm) in your fences;
  3. Build a hedgehog home, using a waterproof box and organic material, where hedgehogs can hibernate in winter;
  4. Let your garden grow wild to encourage slugs and beetles and other tasty insects;
  5. Set up a feeding station offering meaty pet food and water;
  6. Remove litter, which harms all kinds of wildlife;
  7. Keep domestic drains covered, as hedgehogs can fall into them and get stuck;
  8. Check bonfires before lighting, ideally building them on the same day they are lit;
  9. Keep your green areas green by avoiding paving, decking, and artificial lawns
  10. Support our work helping hedgehogs by becoming a member of London Wildlife Trust.

A booklet explaining in more detail how to help hedgehogs can be downloaded here.

 

Found an injured hedgehog?

Unfortunately we are unable to help, but if you have found an injured hedgehog, or are concerned about a hedgehog which is out during the daytime, please contact the British Hedgehog Preservation Society on 01584 890801.