How To Help Hedgehogs In Your Garden

by Raintree

This article is about looking after and helping the wild hedgehogs that may be visiting your garden.

Our wild hedgehogs are disappearing fast. We need to do everything we can to help them to survive and thrive in the wild. These days to hedgehogs "the wild" often means our gardens. There is so much we can do to help these amazing creatures. With a few simple changes we can attract them to our gardens and help them survive and thrive. If you are privileged enough like we are to have hedgehogs visiting or residing in your garden then take a look at the suggestions here to help them even more.

Image Credit And Available From Esschert Design USA WA06 Hedgehog House

Why Are Hedgehogs Declining?

There seems to be a number of reasons why hedgehogs are in decline. One main reason is loss of habitat. Their wild hedgerows are in decline as we dig them up to make houses or a bit more room to grow crops. 

Pesticides and slug pellets kill the food they need to eat and that in turn makes hedgehogs very ill or they die. Lack of food generally is an issue for hedgehogs as many do not reach the weight they need to be before hibernation and then they die in hibernation or come out of hibernation in the depth s of winter hungry and then cannot survive.

Hedgehogs are also killed by traffic on our roads. Where once was a field is now a road and they travel several miles each night to get to other food and territory and to find a mate and get killed in the process. If a mother is killed her babies -hoglets- will not survive with out human help. 


Hedgehogs have been around since the time of the Woolly Mammoth so I think its only right that because of our activities they are declining we should give them a helping hand now. 



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Wildlife World Ltd Igloo Hedgehog House

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Do You Have Hedgehogs In Your Garden?

Video Of A Hedgehog In A Garden

Lets Be Untidy In The Garden!

Make A Hedgehog Home

Yes looking after hedgehogs in your garden gives you licence to be untidy :) You can easily make or buy a home for a hedgehog or a Hogitat. 

Now you dont have to be untidy everywhere but do set aside at least one area where you leave old cuttings, logs, fallen leaves, grass clippings and twigs.

Just push them into a pile and leave them in a corner you don't need to go into much. Your hedgehogs will love this habitat you have created for them. 

If you prefer you can buy a ready made Hedgehog home such as the one in the introduction picture. These are easy to just place in your garden and do look neater. Then all you need to do is provide some twigs, grass clippings etc and place them in the hogitat and nearby so the hog can make its own home there.  

Place any hogitat near to a hedge with cover nearby.

Hedgehog hogitat

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How To Garden To Help Hedgehogs

When gardening we can help hedgehogs. Many hedgehogs are injured each year from gardening accidents. It is important to be careful especially when using any power tools. 

So before you start strimming the edges of your lawn just walk around and check there are no hedgehogs hiding in the longer grass.

Likewise if your grass is long before you start mowing check for any of the hedgehogs.

If you have a compost heap you may well find that hedgehogs like to hide in it even hibernate or bring their young up in it. So if you turn your compost heap with a spike or fork please check for hedgehogs first. Too many hedgehogs have been impaled with a fork by gardeners not meaning to hurt them. 

Please do not use slug pellets and insectisides either. They are bad for hedgehogs

If you can, make a hedge around the garden, it doesn't have to be huge but they will love it.

If you have fences make a hedgehog sized hole in the fence in a few places so that they can move form you r garden to another garden. Hedgehogs need about five gardens to find enough food so if you can, ask your neighbours to do the same. 

Hedgehog Garden Ornaments

Cute Hedgehog Ornaments to Have In Your Garden Or Home
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What to Feed A Wild hedgehog

A common misconception is to feed wild hedgehogs bread and milk, please NEVER do do this. Bread and milk are dangerous to hedgehogs. At best it makes them seriously ill, at worse it can kill them. 

A much better alternative is plain water in a dish.

For food they love meal worms you can buy from the pet shop or internet and cat food. Avoid fish and beef and serve up chicken cat food. 

To prevent tall the neighbourhood cats being attracted and eating the food, place the cat food in an old upturned dogbed or plastic box with a hole cut out. Place the catfood towards the end of the box so that no cats can get it out with their paws. Place heavy bricks on the top so dogs and cats or foxes can't upturn the box

Hedgehog food choices

Wild Hedgehog Food
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Kaytee Mealworms, 3.5 oz

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Purina Beyond High Protein, Grain Free, Natural Dry Cat Food, WILD Turkey Recipe + Freeze Dried B...

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Downtown Pet Supply Dried Mealworms 100% Natural Treats for Wild Birds, Chickens, Reptiles, Fish,...

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The Word On Slug Pellets

I am a gardener too ,so clearly I do not want my precious plants eaten by slugs. However NEVER use slug pellets in your garden.

Slug pellets are deadly to so much wildlife especially hedgehogs and birds.

To me its more important to have healthy living hedgehogs and birds than plants. So I just plant things that slugs don't like much!

Also an added bonus is that if you do have hedgehogs they will eat any slugs that come into you r garden so give it time and you have natural pest control anyway . 

Cute Webkins Hedgehog

Webkins Hedgehog Toys
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Webkinz Rainbow Hedgehog Plush

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Hedgie's Surprise

Jan Brett's beloved character Hedgie stars in this charming story about a little Tomten who gets tired of porridge for breakfast and starts stealing Henny's eggs. But Henny want...

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Diary Of A Wild Country Garden Community

Facebook Page For Gardening And Wildlife


If you like gardening and wildlife we would Love to see you down at


 Diary Of A Wild Country Garden Facebook Page

Helping Your Wild Hedgehogs.

Excellent tips to help hedgehogs.

Hedgehog Slippers And Gloves

Everberry Fuzzy Hedgehog Slippers - Plush Hedgehog Animal Slippers Brown and White

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If you enjoyed this page you may like to come visit my blog at my Wild Country garden where its all about life in a garden, the weather, the plants and flowers and wildlife. 

Diary Of A Wild Country Garden 


Updated: 01/01/2016, Raintree
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What Do You Think Of Hedgehogs?

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frankbeswick on 04/19/2015

News that will evoke delight: today, after years of trying, I found a live hedgehog on my allotment. It was daylight, not their proper time, but whatever! He/she was burrowing near the rhubarb, obviously seeking a place to hide. Three generations of people gathered to see what is now an all too rare sight: old people, their grandchildren and adults. All were delighted. Someone said that I was even more delighted than the children.

What could we do for it, I wondered? Then I realized that I had a mass of straw and leaves, so we covered it with straw and leaves to provide it with a home. I know that my allotment is rich in insect life, as my mulched ground is a happy home for worms, so the hedgehog has a source of food.

Raintree on 08/28/2014

Thank you, I love them. We rarely see them but it is wonderful when you catch a glimpse of one in the garden at dusk :)

ologsinquito on 08/27/2014

They really are amazing creatures, and it's good you're trying to help them survive.

happynutritionist on 01/27/2014

Could it be that part of the reason they are disappearing is that people like me think they are cute and they are being captured as pets? I think they are adorable, but reading this has made me think that they are needed more in the wild than my home.

frankbeswick on 01/27/2014

It is important to note that not only do slug pellets poison hedgehogs,but the dead slugs that have been poisoned by the pellets can also be poisonous to hedgehogs,

I wish that I could get hedgehogs on my allotment, but I have seen none, despite the fact that my allotment is hedgehog friendly. They are great enemies of pests, such as slugs, and if you have hedgehogs you don't need slug pellets.

Wednesday_Elf on 01/26/2014

I don't have a garden, but I really like your ideas of ways to attract and help the cute little hedgehogs.

Sylvestermouse on 01/26/2014

I don't know why I love these little creatures so much, but I do think hedgehogs are adorable. I also think it is really cool that you are teaching us how to protect them!

Raintree on 01/26/2014

I do love hedgehogs and it is such a wonder seeing them wandering around the garden. I just hope ours survived hibernation and we see them again in Spring.

evelynsaenz on 12/30/2013

Here in Vermont we have porcupines instead of hedgehogs. However what little I have seen of hedgehogs in books I think they are adorable. I imagine that a garden with a hedgehog is a delightful place indeed.

Raintree on 10/02/2013

Do keep trying if you can. They tend to roam across several gardens or might use the whole allotment area if you can get some of your neighbours to try as well. However they are just generally less of them than there used to be. They are looking for hibernation sites soon so a nice pile of logs and twigs and old cuttings in an undisturbed corner would be great.

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