It can be very tricky to see a hedgehog at night when driving or cycling, but injuries sustained on the road are often fatal. Drive within the speed limit and be particularly vigilant in early summer when hedgehogs and their young may be out and about before dusk.
Ponds can be hazardous for hedgehogs because although they can swim, they cannot sustain it for very long and if they are not rescued, they will drown. If you have a pond in your garden, ensure that at least one side slopes gently and there is a ramp so that hedgehogs can get out.
If you have a swimming pool, ensure that it either stays covered or that there is an escape ramp.
Strimmers and garden tools
Strimmers and garden tools can kill and injure hedgehogs who choose to make their nests in long grass, hedges and compost heaps. Please check all areas before strimming, forking over or cutting down foliage to prevent injuries from occurring.
Dogs can cause a range of injuries including broken legs, puncture wounds, neurological damage and blindness. In some cases, the hedgehog is killed or needs to be euthanised because their injuries are so severe. Please keep your dog on a lead after dark and supervise them closely. If you have hedgehogs visiting your garden, try to keep an eye on their routine and take your dog out at a time when they are less likely to be in the garden.
Cats are unlikely to cause damage to a juvenile or adult hedgehog but could attack an infant if they got hold of one.
Piles of logs, sticks, twigs and leaves make the perfect nest for a hedgehog so please only build the bonfire on the day it will be lit to prevent hedgehogs (and in some cases, their babies) making their nest in it and being injured or killed.
It is very easy for a hedgehog to become tangled in netting so please ensure that unused sports netting is stored off the ground and out of reach and garden netting has a gap so that hedgehogs can pass safely underneath it. Covering the bottom 30cm of netting with a double layer of horticultural fleece tied on can keep birds off vegetable plots and stop small mammals becoming entangled.
Pesticides and chemicals
Slug pellets can be detrimental to hedgehogs who eat the infected slugs, herbicides reduce the number of earthworms in lawns and insecticides reduce the number of other insects available for hedgehogs to eat. Glue traps are horrifically cruel and we would support a nationwide ban on their sale.
Please research non-chemical methods of protecting plants from harm which will not affect hedgehogs, birds and other wildlife which visit the garden and look for humane methods of managing problems with vermin.
Other chemicals, if not stored correctly, can cause burns to the skin if they come into contact with hedgehogs. Ensure that all chemicals are properly sealed and stored out of reach. Check the impact that paint, preservatives, plant feed and fertilisers can have on hedgehogs and other species of birds and animals before using them.