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Mountfield becomes Hedgehog Aware

Next time you reach for the strimmer to cut back long grass or areas of the garden which have grown a bit wild, take just a few extra minutes to make sure you’re not going to be disturbing sleeping wildlife, in particular hedgehogs.

Despite being found across Europe, and northwards to Scandinavia, hedgehog numbers are in serious decline, especially in the UK, where they now appear on the red list as vulnerable to extinction.  Long grassy areas, or wild patches with brambles, are all popular homes for hedgehogs, but unlike many creatures which run away from potential threats, the hedgehog just curls into a ball, waiting for the danger to pass. This means they are far more vulnerable to injuries, or even death from strimming.

Holly who suffered (but fortunately survived, after 6 weeks intensive care at a rescue centre) a nasty injury from a strimmer - Image credited to ©Little Silver Hedgehog 

Here are three quick actions you can take to give hedgehogs a better chance of survival in your garden:

    1. Check before you strim – Carefully check the area you’re about to strim. Look for evidence of hedgehogs, which may include mounds of leaves, twigs, or even hedgehog poo which is a bit like a dark slug. Start to strim a little, then check again, and keep checking as you go along. It might take a few extra minutes, but checking before every strim, could make the difference between life and death for a hedgehog.                                                                                                       
    2. If you’ve disturbed a nest, replace the nesting material, and leave it alone. The hedgehog will either rebuild, or make a new one somewhere else. If the nest has babies (anytime from mid-May onwards), replace the nesting material, and keep a close eye to see if Mum returns. If not, call your nearest rescue centre for advice.                                                                                              
    3. Leave a few shallow dishes of fresh water out – water is a lifeline for hedgehogs all year, but especially Summertime.                                                                                                                 

Hedgehog house in garden - image credit to ©Jay Williams


Find out how to make your garden hedgehog-friendly at www.hedgehogaware.org.uk

Thank you to Dylan Allman, self-proclaimed 'Hedgehog Champion' for this amazing blog and for highlighting the need to check before you strim to become 'Hedgehog Aware'! An inspiration at only 14 years old, Dylan and his 'Hedgehog Aware' campaign, which is supported by the British Hedgehog Society, and People’s Trust for Endangered Species, needs your support to help save the wildlife in our gardens.

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