How to Help Our Beloved Hedgehogs

We were asked if Friends of Churchfield supporters might help the plight of our small, round and famously spiky friends, during the prolonged dry weather period at the beginning of the summer. The answer was a resounding ‘YES’; after all, the hedgehog is the emblem of our logo, so how could we not do what we can to help it along.

The hedgehog is one of Britain’s most familiar and loved wild mammals, yet it is under threat from habitat loss caused by the reduction of hedgerows and the increase in intensification of our agricultural landscapes. Basically the hedgehog needs our support!

Photo by Tim Melling

According to The Wildlife Trust, in just the last 10 years, hedgehog numbers have fallen by 30% and there are now thought to be fewer than 1 million left in the UK.

We can help by:

• Putting out water in a shallow container during dry spells (a large plastic plant pot holder is perfect for them).

• Create nature corridors in your outdoor space and through hedges, so hedgehogs can roam far and wide in search of food, mates and nesting sites.

• Avoid the use of pesticides in your garden.

• Be aware of dangers, such as keeping plant netting, tennis nets and household rubbish above ground level to prevent entanglement.

• Help hedgehogs if they are sick. A hedgehog out in daytime may well be a busy mum still foraging for her babies, but a still, hardly moving hedgehog that doesn’t run away in half an hour is likely to be extremely sick and is asking for help.

What to do:

If you do see a hedgehog that is in distress or non responsive, please pick up the hedgehog with a towel or something similar and place it safely in a deep box or plastic bucket and cover with a cloth to keep it warm, together with a saucer of water for dehydration.

If you are in the Denby Dale area you can contact Christine Cook, who is dedicated to helping hedgehogs, on 07989 271934, and she will take the injured or sick hedgehog to Oggles Hedgehog Rescue in Dewsbury.

Alternatively, you can ring Oggles directly on 07954 138853 and leave a message or take the hedgehog direct to a Vet.

For further information about hedgehogs and steps you can take to help save the hedgehog, you can download The Wildlife Trusts’ free ‘Get creative for hedgehogs’ booklet here (pdf).

By Natalie Drury