How you can help hedgehogs at home
Hedgehogs are in decline, but there are many things we can do to help them
The 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.
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.
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 other insects (caused in large part by the use of pesticides), 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.
Simple steps to helping hedgehogs in London
- In gardens or community spaces, create habitats such as rough grassland, scrub, hedges, shallow ponds, log piles and compost heaps;
- Create 'hedgehog highways' by simply cutting a hedgehog-sized hole (13x13cm) in your fences;
- Build a hedgehog home, using a waterproof box and organic material, where hedgehogs can hibernate in winter;
- Let your garden grow wild to encourage beetles and other tasty insects;
- Set up a feeding station offering meaty pet food and water;
- Remove litter, which harms all kinds of wildlife;
- Keep alert to your dog interacting with hedgehogs, as dog bites frequently cause injury to hedgehogs.
- Keep domestic drains covered, as hedgehogs can fall into them and get stuck;
- Check bonfires before lighting, ideally building them on the same day they are lit;
- Keep your green areas green by avoiding paving, decking, and artificial lawns
- Support our work helping hedgehogs by becoming a member of London Wildlife Trust.
Found an injured hedgehog?
Unfortunately we are unable to help, but if you have found an injured hedgehog, or are concerned about a hedgehog - any hedgehog out during the daytime is likely to be in need of veterinary attention - please contact the British Hedgehog Preservation Society on 01584 890801.