Baby hedgehogs (hoglets) will continue to be born throughout July. If you see the same hedgehog around then it is likely to be a female. They often have regular routes that they follow when they are foraging, so if you see a hedgehog by the shed at 10pm then it may well be there again the next night at or around that time.
There is a great deal of worry amongst hedgehog rehabilitators that there are so few hedgehogs being admitted. Whilst it is good not to have them needing care it also means that there are not so many around. This is also confirmed by the lack of kills seen on our roads. Death rates are believed to have been high during the extended winter hibernation so every hedgehog seen is even more precious and its well-being is necessary to aid the hedgehogs’ dwindling population.
Kate Bullen suggests we can all help by making our gardens safer for hedgehogs, and by providing food and water for them. To protect the food, from both cats and the weather, make a feeding station, for example try putting a paving slab on bricks (leave a gap between 2 of the bricks as an entrance hole); or use a rabbit hutch with its door wedged partly open; or an upside down plastic dog bed. As a final suggestion, try to get one of those deep plastic mushroom boxes, or an under the bed storage box. Cut a 5 x 5 inch hole in one of the short sides so when the box is upside down the hole becomes an entrance. Put water and food (meat based dog or cat food or a propriety brand of complete hedgehog food) at the far end and weigh the box down with a stone.
If you have a shed or summer house that is raised off the ground slightly food can be put under this. However this is also a favourite place for a female to make her nursery nest so before using it as a feeding station check there is not a nest there. The female hedgehog will not be happy about other hedgehogs coming to a food source so close to her babies.
If you want to find out more about hedgehogs visit the British Hedgehog Preservation Society’s web site at www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk
If you find a hedgehog needing help or if you need more advice call the BHPS on 01584 890801 – it is better to be safe than sorry.