One of the main threats to the hedgehog is habitat loss. Habitat loss can occur either as a result of destruction or because hedgehogs no longer have access to an area of suitable habitat. Making a 13 x 13cm hole in walls and fences allows hedgehogs to roam freely between gardens and gives them access to an adequate area to find food, water and shelter. Creating hedgehog holes in adjacent gardens results in hedgehog highways. This is the basis of our Hedgehogs without Borders campaign.
Hedgehogs nest in a variety of places including:
- Hedgerows / dense shrubs
- Long grass/overgrown areas
- Under sheds and decking
- Compost heaps
- Purpose-built hedgehog houses
Hedgehogs look for places that provide plenty of cover and will use materials such as grass, moss, leaves, straw and hay to create their nest. You can help hedgehogs in your area by ensuring that these materials are available for them to take and use, by leaving an area of the garden to grow wild. You could also buy (or make) a hedgehog house, fill it with straw/hay and place it in a quiet, covered area.
Visiting hedgehogs may move into your garden for a short period of time, they may hibernate with you or if you are very privileged, a mother may choose to give birth and raise her babies in your garden. When gardening or moving garden furniture, please be careful not to disturb any nesting hedgehogs. This is especially important during breeding season (May-September) as mothers may abandon their babies if they are frightened.