Colder nights and hedgehogs need to gain weight.
When Autumn arrives, the natural food that hedgehogs like are getting harder to find. We can help these charming creatures by supplementing their natural diet by leaving out some food. You can give hedgehogs foods like minced meat, tinned dog or cat food (chicken or rabbit flavour, not fish-based. They also like crushed cat biscuits, chopped boiled eggs, peanuts, sunflower hearts, chopped apple, digestive biscuits, and dried meal worms, You can also buy specialist hedgehog food from wild bird food suppliers, see picture below of a Wildlife World Hedgehog Care Pack. Put the food out with a bowl of water. Please remember that they should never be given cows milk.
Hedgehogs are famous for being the gardener’s friend since it will eat beetles, slugs and caterpillars. So it important to return the favour by creating a wild part of the garden. Long grass is appreciated, just be careful if you decide to cut it. Leaf and woodpiles are great for hedgehogs. And they also like to snuggle in the compost bin.
Planting a hedge is a wonderful way to create wildlife corridors so that animals can walk between gardens. And if you do have a fence make sure that you create holes in the fence so that hedgehogs can pass from your garden to your neighbours’ gardens. Hedgehog Street has a campaign that you can join for free if you live in the UK. You can download material, for example, a template so that you can see how big hole that is needed to ensure that hedgehogs can pass through the fence.
The Autumn and Winter months are also a great time to make plans for next year’s garden. Hedgehogs love native shrubs and wild flowers.
Go here to read about Saving Harry a story about Hedgehogs
Finally, a BIG congratulation to Ann-Margrethe who has 9 stunning photos in the final of the competition held by the European Environment Agency – Pictures 2050- Living well within the limits of our planet. Go here to look at all the wonderful entries.