Assume hedgehogs will be present Island wide, they roam far and wide looking for food and mates and have been found all over the Island. Please consider ways to protect hedgehogs while you are working and encourage your clients to incorporate hedgehog friendly features into their garden design.
Caution is needed when clearing piles of deadwood, areas of long grass or dense vegetation. Please cut to knee height, check for hedgehogs and other wildlife and then cut lower if required. Piles of brushwood should be left behind hedges or at the edges of the garden to mitigate for the loss of nest sites.
These must not be set alight.
During the Reconstruction
Hazards such as open fence post or planting holes, pits, drains and ponds should be covered or fitted with escape ramps of rough wood or wire netting. Trenches or ditches should be ramped at both ends to facilitate escape to prevent an inquisitive hedgehog from getting trapped.
If you find a hedgehog out of its nest please phone the Jersey Hedgehog Preservation Group on 01534 734340.
Litter and netting
Netting, garden string and other litter can all be hazards for hedgehogs. Store nets safely in the shed when not in use.
If using nets to grow peas or beans, leave a 5" or 13 cm gap underneath. If using nets for covering low crops such as strawberries, pull taut and cut off surplus. Garden nets can cause severe constriction injuries to hedgehogs.
Rubbish should be removed so that wildlife cannot become trapped in it.
Please make sure that ground-dwelling species can move freely between gardens by providing 13 x 13 cm holes in fences and walls at ground level, or by leaving a 13cm gap under gates. Specially designed gravel boards for fencing are available from JF(T)U Ltd. (Tel 01534 865304)
Ground level changes may also create barriers such as high kerbs, steps, terracing or sunken patios. Landscaping should ensure sloped access/escape routes for ground dwelling species. Drains should be covered, ponds and swimming pools fitted with escape ramps of wire netting or rigid plastic mesh.
Hedges are preferable to fences or walls. Native-species hedgerows are recommended to provide a rich food source, shelter and connectivity for wildlife. Existing trees and hedgerows should be retained wherever possible. Hedgerows should be trimmed in rotation with the top or one side being cut every three years during the winter when the berries/nuts are finished and no birds are nesting.
Hedgehog Friendly Gardens
Hedgehog friendly features include dense scrub and log piles for hibernation, leaf litter for nesting material, short grass for foraging and longer grass for summer nests. Minimise areas of hard standing or artificial grass in favour of planting and real grass. Chemicals, especially slug pellets, should be avoided and organic management encouraged.
Compost heaps and bonfires
are very inviting to a hedgehog looking for somewhere to nest, please take extra care when forking through compost or if setting light to a bonfire pile, please move it on the day you set fire to it.