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HEDGEHOG RELEASES REQUIRE

Hedgehog friendly gardens

The State of Britains Hedgehogs 2022 states "In urban areas, the picture is of a stable population that might be recovering, highlighting the importance of gardens and green spaces, and local action, in ensuring a future for hedgehogs".

Here's our top tips for a hedgehog friendly garden!

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Hedgehog highways

Did you know that a hedgehog can travel approximately 2 miles per night? Creating a hedgehog highway in your garden, not only increases your chance of seeing these beautiful little animals, it also helps expand their range, hunting ground, access to nest sites and also mates!

A hole cut into your fence or gate of approximately 13 x 13cm is all you need to do! 

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Hedgehog houses

A hedgehog house is a great way to encourage hedgehogs into the garden. They use these houses often for hibernation and also just as a general place to rest their sleepy heads during the day. There are many different styles but we recommend our own (contact us for availability) or those from Home & Roost.

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Support feeding

Hedgehogs are predominately insectivores - their favourite food is beetles, caterpillars and worms. They do eat slugs and snails but these only make up about 3% of their diet and actually consuming large amounts can give them harmful internal parasites.

Many gardens these days sadly lack a lot of insects, so support feeding is often a huge help.

Feeding a good quality cat / kitten biscuit (where the first ingredient is meat) is ideal (we recommend Purina Kitten, Burgess Kitten or Harringtons) - and don't forget to put out plenty of fresh water in a large shallow dish. An area of wooden logs/bug hotel will also encourage foraging for their natural food source!

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Ponds

Although hedgehogs can swim, it is important to ensure that all ponds have an escape route.

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Strimmers

Sadly we've seen our fair share of streamer injuries and they are HORRENDOUS. Please ensure that before strimming, mowing or using any garden tools, the area is checked thoroughly - not only for hedgehogs but for other wildlife too. 

We have labels for equipment for a reminder!

Please email us if you would like some.

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Baits

Hedgehogs have a great sense of smell and sadly some people do not use bait sensibly. Seeing a hedgehog haemorrhage is extremely sad and there is often nothing we can do to save it. This shouldn't happen to any animal. Please do not use bait.

If you do have a problem with rats - try moving pots and garden furniture. Rats are neophobic (they don't like change) so this is often enough to deter them. If you have any old metaldehyde slug pellets around - please dispose of them as these will also cause poisoning in hedgehogs if ingested.

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Interested in becoming a release garden?

We would love to hear from you!

We will need photos showing the following:

Your hedgehog highways

Hedgehog house

Any ponds

Also an overview of the whole garden.

Please WhatsApp photos to 07943 174349 or email info@deanshangerhedgehogrescue.org.uk with "RELEASE GARDEN" and your location e.g. Stony Stratford, Deanshanger, Towcester in the Subject of the email.

Any dogs will also have to be hedgehog friendly and not pose a threat.

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