How To: Attract Hedgehogs to the Garden

There’s no denying that hedgehog numbers are in decline across the UK due to agricultural spaces encroaching on their natural habitats, as well as urbanisation and roads creating hazards for them. Through the overuse of pesticides, there may also be a decline in their food sources such as caterpillars, beetles and worms. 

In this guide, we will give you a few helpful tips on how to encourage hedgehogs into your garden and how to give them a helping hand.

How To: Attract Hedgehogs to the Garden

Build a Hedgehog House

Putting a hedgehog box in your garden is the perfect way to encourage them into your garden whilst also giving them a place to nest. At we have Holt Garden Centre have a range of pre-built boxes for sale, or you can attempt to build your own – check out this hedgehog box guide for some inspiration! Whichever route you choose, you will be providing a safe place and shelter for them. Avoid placing the box in direct sunlight – place it under vegetation where possible with the entrance facing away from prevailing winds. It may take a few weeks or a few months for a hedgehog to take up residence in your box or garden, but don’t be perturbed, it may just mean they have suitable shelter elsewhere.

Plant a Hedge

Hedges are the perfect habitat for our spiky friends as they allow for easy access between gardens, a space for them to forage as well as a safe place for them to hibernate and raise their young. Particular hedges such as Hawthorn and Hazel are a firm favourite as they attract egg-laying months which will increase their source of food.

How To: Attract Hedgehogs to the Garden

Provide a Food Source

Whilst a natural food source is optimal for hedgehogs, it can be helpful to supply them with some supplementary food before they go into hibernation. Meat-based cat or dog food works well, especially if it is chicken or turkey flavoured. You can also purchase ready-made hedgehog food from garden centres such as Holt Garden Centre. Never give them bread or milk as this can kill them through dehydration. If you’re not growing vegetables, then it might be possible to create a spot that attracts slugs, snails and other bugs as this will create a little feast for them.

Leave Access Holes

One of the best things you can possibly do for hedgehogs is to give them free access to your garden. All you need to do is make a hole around 12x12cm in the bottom of a fence, or create a few if you have a larger garden. Doing this will create “hedgehog Highways” allowing them to roam further and increase their chances of finding food and shelter.

Creating a hedgehog-friendly environment is very easy to do with these few ideas. If you have a pond in your garden it is important to create a slope for them to drink and escape if needed. Although they are adept at swimming they may find it difficult to get out of a pond with tall sides. Come Autumn, it’s worth leaving some leaves and twigs in an area of your garden for them, and always remember to thoroughly check before starting any bonfires. 

Hedgehogs are a welcome addition to any garden as a natural pest control and are a delight if you can spot them rummaging around at dusk. Visit us in-store for more information about our spiky friends and our range of hedgehog houses and food options. 

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