Our garden can be an ideal habitat for hedgehogs, provided we do not use chemicals for killing pests, such as slug pellets, and do not tidy up too much.
To encourage hedgehogs into the garden, and help them fatten up for the winter, saucers of tinned cat or dog food may be put down. Once used to this treat, the hedgehog will regularly return for its supper.
We can provide the hedgehog with a good place to hibernate by placing a bundle of straw, hay or leaves under a dry shed, thick hedge or log pile. A special box can be made and covered with polythene and soil. We can also help hedgehogs by making sure we have access points to our gardens - if your garden is walled you might want to consider removing a brick so that hedgehogs can pass through and continue on their search for food and a mate - the same goes for fences and can be remedied by digging a tunnel udnerneath the wall or fence or making a small hole.
Hedgehogs often hibernate under compost heaps and piles of garden litter destined to be bonfires. Be careful when breaking up the compost heap or lighting the bonfire - check there is not a hedgehog sleeping there!
If you would like to find out more about helping hedgehogs take a look at Hedgehog Street and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society.
If you see a hedgehog, you can report the siting at: