With the recent news that Hedgehogs are now officially classified as vulnerable to extinction, we at BGSU have been thinking about the ways that we can help our spikey friends! We’ve teamed up with the British Hedgehog Preservation Society to become a Hedgehog-Friendly Campus, and have gathered some handy tips and tricks that you can try at home to help care for the hedgehogs in your area!!
- Check your garden! Hedgehogs are only small creatures and like to burrow under hedges or in piles of wood and/or leaves for shelter and safety. Make sure you check around your garden, looking underneath hedges and in long, thick grass to make sure there are no hedgehogs about when you mow the grass! Similarly, always be mindful of hedgehogs when lighting bonfires - try to build them as close to the time of lighting them as possible, and be sure to check thoroughly for any hogs before lighting!
- Hungry hogs! Leaving food and drink out for hedgehogs will help to keep them well-fed and healthy - but make sure you’re putting the right stuff down! It’s best to leave dog or cat food, as long as it’s not fish-based, and the only drink you should be leaving out is water! Many people leave milk out for hedgehogs, but this actually does more harm than good and can make them very sick!
- Cover up! Use things such as drain coverings to ensure no hedgehogs run the risk of falling in and getting stuck! It’s also a good idea to cover up any pools or ponds in your garden at night too - hedgehogs can swim, but may struggle to get out of pools or ponds with slippery surfaces surrounding them. Even if there aren’t any hedgehogs visiting, at least you’ll avoid getting soggy leaves in them!
- Opt for organic! When doing garden work, it can be tempting to use chemical pesticides to deter creatures such as slugs or snails - but these can seriously harm hedgehogs if consumed! Hedgehogs feed on slugs and snails anyway so act as a pesticide in their own right - but if you really must use a deterrent, look into natural, hedgehog-friendly options such as eggshells or beer traps!
- Hedgehog houses! A great way to help the hedgehogs in your area is to buy or make hedgehog houses! These little structures provide shelter and warmth for hedgehogs, away from hedges or roads where they’re at risk of being involved in accidents! The Wildlife Trusts have a great guide to building hedgehog houses, which can be found here: https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/actions/how-build-hedgehog-home Alternatively, you can purchase hedgehog houses directly from the British Hedgehog Preservation Society’s website!
If you’d like more information on how you can help hedgehogs in your area, or would like to know more about the Hedgehog Friendly Campus campaign, visit the British Hedgehog Preservation Society at https://www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk ! If you’re interested in joining BGSU’s hedgehog-friendly campus campaign team, or want to learn more about what we’re doing for Lincoln’s hedgehog population, you can contact Kaylee (Activities Liaison: Wellbeing at BGSU and campaign chair) at email@example.com, and follow us on twitter at @BGUHedghehogs!