Here’s How to Save Hedgehogs

Hedgehogs, those cute, spikey critters are under threat.

There should be millions of them across the globe, but their populations are shrinking fast.

What can we do to help Hedgehogs survive?

We need to make our gardens and parks and common spaces hedgehog-friendly.

Keep your garden and other natural areas litter-free. Hedgehogs and other wildlife can easily get caught in plastic, netting or packaging left lying around.
More than anything, we must actively keep plants, hedgerows, bushes and fallen leaves intact. We need to start encouraging nature and plant life, not cutting it back or clearing it away.
Hedgehogs eat bugs so we need to ensure the Hedgehogs, and the bugs, have somewhere safe to live. That means NO weedkillers, pesticides or herbicides!

Remember that so-called ‘weeds’ are plants too, and these are usually important food sources for insects and small mammals.

No matter how safe the manufacturers claim their biological poisons are, chemicals like Roundup, other glyphosate-based herbicides and other toxic garden sprays and pest pellets are designed to KILL life.
Despite the fact that these poisons are designed to kill only some life, the ‘target’ plants and small animals are always part of an ecosystem with other life, which means if we use chemicals at the bottom of the food chain, we are poisoning and negatively affecting ALL life up the food chain too.
For example, if we spray weedkiller, and a Hedgehog eats insects which were on or around that plant, the Hedgehog could be poisoned too. And by killing some plants which support insects that Hedgehogs eat, we’re taking away important food sources for Hedgehogs.

Hedgehogs often struggle to move around to find food sources.

Where possible we should be adding holes for Hedgehogs in the bottom of garden fences, using lower borders around plant beds (maximum 15cm high), or using plants as borders instead of fences.
It’s a good idea to talk to your neighbours and each make a hedgehog-sized hole in your fences, so Hedgehogs can move unhindered through all your gardens.
You can put out water in a shallow bowl, and some specialist Hedgehog food for them too. But if your garden is a safe haven, full of life, and they can move around safely, Hedgehogs will probably be able to find enough food and moisture without you feeding them.
The only time it may become an emergency is in hot summer spells, when they will benefit from you putting water out.

Hedgehogs sleep and hibernate under hedges, bushes and in piles of leaves and vegetation.

Never clear leaves away, and don’t prepare or light a bonfire, without first gently checking for Hedgehogs which may be resting or sleeping underneath.
Be careful when gardening, as Hedgehogs can be injured or killed by hedge-trimmers, lawnmowers, strimmers and even handheld garden tools.
You can place a Hedgehog box or Hedgehog house under plants or in areas with lots of leaves and vegetation for hedgehogs to live in. Put some leaves, moss and twigs in it to encourage them in. They may well hibernate in it all winter, and even make a nest for their babies there!

Hedgehogs are nocturnal, so they sleep in the day and roam around to feed at night.

Try to not disturb Hedgehogs who you know may be sleeping nearby in the day. Hedgehogs are not pets – they are wild animals, so it’s best to leave them to get on with their lives in peace.
Also do be aware that Hedgehogs may be hibernating for a few months in the winter, so again, do not disturb places where they might be.
Unfortunately it’s not always possible to avoid them on the roads. But where you can, do drive slowly and look out for little creatures crossing the road at night.

Find out more.


4 thoughts on “Here’s How to Save Hedgehogs

  1. I have a family of 3 hogs this year very excited I feed them hog food and wire worms dried
    Also have old shallow pan of water Love them

  2. My neighbour recently put weedkiller over all the weeds at the bottom and around. his garden.. Today, the neighbour on the other side of him, found a mother and two baby hedgehogs dead. We are devastated . I have a hog house in my garden in which they slept and we both fed them. We believe the weedkiller was responsible. It is no good talking to him because he would just shrug his shoulders and say he had to get rid of the weeds. He is not a gardener and has no interest in wildlife, and does not bother to plant anything. Is there anything that we can do to stop him doing this sort of thing? Of course, we have no proof.

    1. Hi, thanks for reaching out and so sad to hear about the baby hedgehogs. I guess you could try talking to your neighbour, even if you think he may not listen? Hedgehogs may be listed as endangered or vulnerable to extinction (see:, depending on which country you live in, so there may be a way to report him to an environmental authority. But again, no proof his weedkiller was the cause. It is so sad that people prioritise neat, weedless gardens over wildlife.

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