Found a hedgehog in your garden? Here’s what to do
- Credit: Archant
A Suffolk hedgehog charity has spoken about how global warming is impacting on hedgehog numbers and what you should do if you find one in your garden.
This Hedgehog Awareness Week, volunteers at Suffolk Prickles Hedgehog Rescue in Stonham, are encouraging people to make their gardens safer for their prickly visitors.
Paula Baker, who set up Suffolk Prickles said: "We are trying to let the public know a little bit more about hedgehogs because they are now so endangered - hedgehogs can adapt to changes in the environment but they are just not managing."
Traditionally Hedgehog Awareness Week is around the time when hedgehogs start coming out of winter hibernation but due to warmer temperatures, caused by global warming, many no longer hibernate.
Four things you can do if you find a hedgehog in your garden
There is a common misconception that if you see a hedgehog or their young during daylight hours they are ill but this is not always the case - sometimes they are foraging for food.
However if you see a hedgehog walking around in circles or looking like it is has no purpose it is probably unwell and you should call a hedgehog rescue centre for advice.
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Provide a nest
One way to care for a hedgehog in your garden is to provide it with some shelter. You can do this by making a nest out of logs, a pile of leaves or you can even make or buy a hedgehog house and put it in a discreet part of your garden.
Feed them the right stuff
Hedgehogs are happy eating meat-based dog food, cat food and kitten biscuits.
It is important that hedgehogs stay hydrated throughout the summer. You can help with this by providing them with a low dish of water.
Make a hedgehog hole
This is very simple to do but can be lifesaving for a hedgehog. By making a hole in your fence hedgehogs can get between gardens without having to go anywhere near a road.
Paula and her partner Kane set up the rescue centre nine years ago after deciding they needed to learn what to do to help injured animals.
"Looking after hedgehogs is very rewarding but it is also hard work. We literally never get a break we get calls all time - in the Summer we can get 16 calls a day," said Paula.
You can find out more about the threat to hedgehogs and how you can look after them on the Suffolk Prickles website - here.Suffolk Prickles are encouraging people to grab a shoe box and design a hedgehog friendly garden as part of a competition they are running.
To enter you will need to take your hedgehog garden to 'Hedgehog Day' on Saturday, June, 22 which will take place at St Margaret's Hall in Ipswich - all entries will need to arrive at the hall by 2pm.