07:06 Monday 19 November 2012

Help our Hedgehogs


They are Britain's only spiny mammal and are probably in your garden more often than you realise. Help them keep safe with these top tips.

If you are planning to give your lawn a mow or strim soon check any corners that they can hid in to make sure that you're not about to give Mrs Tiggywinkle a very rude awakening.

Slug pellets can be dangerous for lots of creatures that we don't want to harm including hedgehogs. With a few simple precautions you can cut down the risk to the good guys in the garden.

Purchase only pellets that contain blue dye and taste nasty to hedgehogs and use sparingly. Try hiding them where slugs can easily get at them, but hedgehogs can't. Under a propped up paving slab is a good idea, as this sort of shady place actually attracts slugs, but hedgehogs can't squeeze under. Remove and bury dead slugs.

Roadkill is always a sobering sight whatever you may feel about speed cameras. Hedgehogs in particular don't stand a chance if they happen to be crossing the road - happily going about their own business - as a ten ton juggernaut comes bearing down on them at 70 miles an hour.

Surveys have calculated that about 12,000 to 15,000 hedgehogs are killed on our roads every year - which seems a huge number! But if the hedgehog population can suffer these losses and still not become extinct, then there's hope for the spiky little charmer yet!

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