HAZARDS FOR HEDGEHOGS :- please follow this link to our Hazards Page for more information and photos.
A garden pond attracts all sorts of creatures but if it has steep sides it can be a death trap for hedgehogs and other small animals. There should be a shallow shelf 5-6 cms deep to allow them to drink or get out of the pond. If you have a pond, please check that there is an escape route made with stones, rough pieces of wood or plastic coated wire netting. DON’T cover your pond with netting as this can trap hedgehogs.
(Picture by Jane Durrent taken from The Natural Hedgehog)
Swimming pools are also very dangerous for hedgehogs, escape ramps made of rigid plastic mesh (not flimsy garden netting) can be trailed into the water and held in place with a block or heavy stone on the side of the pool.
Hedgehogs are very good swimmers and climbers, but get exhausted and drown if they cannot find a way out. Soft bubble wrap type pool covers can also be lethal as large hedgehogs get trapped underneath, however solid covers can save lives:
Even if you do rescue one alive, the pool chemicals may have damaged its lungs, so please phone us on 734340 or contact your nearest hedgehog carer if you live outside the Island so it can be treated before being released again.
Hedgehogs will fall into any steep sided hole, drain or trench,
even concrete steps can trap small hedgehogs and separate them from their mother whose longer legs may enable her to escape. Please provide ramps with bricks, blocks or planks of wood and cover all drains.
Bonfires A pile of garden rubbish which has been left for a long time, or even only for one night, could be sheltering a sleeping or hibernating hedgehog, depending on the time of year. To a hedgehog your bonfire heap looks like a really inviting place to nest. The only safe way to have a bonfire is to move your garden waste a little at a time and set fire to it as you move it, so you can be absolutely sure that there are no hedgehogs underneath.
If you are involved in building a big fire for Bonfire Night please make sure there are escape tunnels provided.
Take extra care with the garden fork when forking through compost or leafmould. We have had 2 hedgehogs which have survived being stabbed with garden forks, one lost a hind leg but none of his internal organs was damaged, and the other escaped permanent damage, he had 2 holes on either side of his body which only wounded his external layer of fat on both sides, so he was released once he had healed.
Check thoroughly before strimming or cutting long grass and overgrown areas, or cut to knee-height first, check for hedgehogs and then cut lower to the ground. We see many severe injuries caused by strimmers, you really cannot be too careful with this lethal tool. Look at the pictures on our main Hazards page
Garden netting can be a hedgehog trap. If in use in the garden, please pull it taut and if possible leave a 4"/10cm gap underneath so the hedgehogs can walk below it and eat the slugs before they eat your beans! Once you have finished with the net, please store it safely in your shed - out of harm's way!
If you have a badminton or tennis net or even football goal post in your garden, all these can also trap hedgehogs. Please lift the nets off the ground after you have finished playing.
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