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Hedgehogs - How To Look After Our Garden Friend...

May 29th 2015
By: Melanie

According to the Former Countryfile presenter Michaela Strachan hedgehogs will face extinction within the next 10 years if we don't take action to prevent their decline, however this statement has received strong opposition from Author and ecologist Hugh Warwick, who has said this is rubbish and we should be concentrating our efforts on preserving more seriously threatened animals.

The recent concern for our garden friend has come from the rapid decline in hedgehogs throughout the UK. In the 1950's there were over 30,000 million, but now there are fewer than 1 million. One of the main killers of hedgehogs are our roads and pesticides that we use in our gardens. Hedgehogs also need to roam around a territory the size of two tennis courts.

Mr Warwick stated He said 'the main problem' was that although there were pockets of hedgehogs throughout the country, these patches were often not linked - curtailing the animals' ability to forage successfully.'

Here are some ways in which you can help hedgehogs:

* Make small gaps in your fencing where they can pass between gardens.

* If you see a hedgehog out in the day time then it could be ill, contact your local vets to find out where your nearest hedgehog centre is located

* Don't feed hedgehogs with bread and milk; this can be really bad for their digestive systems, instead feed them with cat or dog food, and a bowl of water.

* If you have a pond then make sure you leave a bit bolder near the edge so that they can get out after a swim.

* Avoid putting down pesticides to kill slugs and snails, instead use a more natural approach.

* In autumn if you have a pile of leaves you are preparing to burn, make sure you check that no hedgehogs have bedded down for winter.

Hedgehogs have around 5 thousand spines and they can have up to 7 thousand for a larger hedgehog. It's best not to touch hedgehogs as their spikes can be sharp and they are also covered in flees.

Have you seen or rescued any hedgehogs in your garden, we would love to hear from you on one of our Facebook pages?

Source: The Independent