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Helping hedgehogs in hot weather is a big topic at the moment. There are posts across social media about hedgehogs being dehydrated and sunburned in the hottest British summer in years. We’ve all struggled with the record-high temperatures we have experienced. Wildlife is no different and with depleting resources in their natural habitat, it’s prudent to know how to help a creature you might find who is suffering from the heat.

Helping Hedgehogs in Hot Weather

Hedgehog love

Hedgehogs are one of the most welcome garden visitors, particularly for the gardeners amongst us. They eat many garden “pests” such as worms and caterpillars. They are a common feature in ColourFence customer gardens and we get a lot of questions about hedgehog highways in particular.

Helping Hedgehogs in Hot Weather

We’ve put together a little list of ways you can help your local hedgehog population thrive during both summer and other times of year:

Offer refreshment

You can leave out small dishes of water (not milk!) and food in your garden. A little as you might do for a dog, hedgehogs get extra thirsty in the heat too. With a drought in force at the moment, they might not be so easily able to find a water supply to quench it!

Make sure the water dishes are small enough for them to access, and not drown in. They should ideally be wide and shallow and made of ceramic material to reduce the risk of burning.

As for food, you can of course buy specialist hedgehog food at places like garden centres. Equally, tinned cat or dog food (meat, not fish-based) works just as well! They can also eat cat biscuits and chopped-up boiled eggs.

It’s also a great way of making sure your hedgehog friends return to the garden, even after the heatwave has passed.

Helping Hedgehogs in Hot Weather

Making a shelter

Help them find shelter by building a hedgehog hotel – as simple as a log or plank leaned up against a wall, that they can shelter underneath! A pile of leaves and logs is attractive to them too, regardless of the heat. Other options are ready made hedgehog houses which can be bought at a number of retailers, including Amazon. An upside-down plastic box with a hole cut out for hedgehogs to enter is also an option. These can be laid directly on the ground.

Helping Hedgehogs in Hot Weather

Keep an eye out

Always check for hedgehogs before you remove large piles of leaves or do any gardening. This isn’t specific to summer, but if you’re having a tidy up in preparation for your next BBQ, bear it in mind. Many hedgehogs, unfortunately, succumb to strimmers and lawnmowers. Before cutting, have a check around for sleeping hedgehogs who may be camouflaged by tall grasses and shrubbery.

When it comes to helping hedgehogs in hot weather the number one thing to keep in mind is:

If you see a Hedgehog out during the daytime, something’s wrong.

They have likely come out of hiding to find water or food because they are desperate.

Hedge ramp enabling hogs to climb out of a pond

Hedgehog proof your pond

Make sure to cover up any drains or holes in the garden, too. And if you have a water feature or pond ensure you have a ramp or plank just so they can get back out again. The water might be especially tempting for them in the heat of summer.

To read more about helping hedgehogs read our previous blog post here:

The Hedgehog Highway and Why we Love Them – ColourFence

‘Til next week


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