Ah, hedgehogs. They might be balled in alarming-looking spikes, and considered pests here and there, but it’s hard not to love these spiny little critters nonetheless.
There’s something rather special about seeing a hedgehog snuffling around in a bush nearby. However this sight is becoming increasingly rare as unpredictable weather, traffic and urban pressure contribute to the hedgehogs' precarious lifestyle. They’re wonderful creatures, and the final day in April marks an important point in the year for all hedgehog fanatics, as Hedgehog Awareness Week officially kicks off.
We’ve put together some tips on what you can do to help these mammals during Hedgehog Awareness Week and beyond...
Fun hedgehog facts!
Before we get into the serious stuff, here are some fun facts about hedgehogs for you to mull over.
How to care for hedgehogs
Hedgehog Awareness Week encourages us to take care of any fuzzy friends that might wander into our backyards or enjoy hanging around in your local park. Here are some of the best ways you can give local hedgehogs a helping hand:
For a nest, push together any fallen leaves or branches and place them in a quiet, secluded corner of your garden – preferably with rich soil nearby so the hedgehogs can feed on bugs whilst they’re there too. Make sure you remember not to disturb the pile and your new spiky friends!
This year’s Hedgehog Awareness Week is particularly focused on strimmer safety. By carefully pulling back bushes and checking dark shrub areas, you can ensure there are no hedgehogs hiding away inside before you begin using your tools.
What to do when you see a hedgehog in trouble
If you spot a visibly malnourished or weak hedgehog (which can happen during the colder months when food is scarce) you can help by placing a tin of a cat/dog food beside them. A dish of cold, fresh water will also keep them hydrated.
If you see a hedgehog in visible distress the best thing you can do is contact your local rescue centre as soon as possible. The expert on the other end of the line will then be able to offer you step-by-step guidelines on how to help the animal.
We'll leave it there for Hedgehog Awareness Week, feel free to send this blog to your friends to get more people involved in helping out these spiky creatures! For more conservation content view all of our blogs here.
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