The Green Patch is a Groundwork Northants project. Find out more about Groundwork

The Green Patch

Helping hedgehogs in the Ise Valley

Grey Lindley (Manager)

22 weeks ago

Hedgehog in it's house

At the Green Patch tries to look after local wildlife as much as we can. This year we are starting a hedgehog highway program and if you live nearby we would love your help.

With support of Kettering Town Council we have made some hedgehogs houses, three of which are at the Green Patch and some more spread along the Ise River. In mid-March hedghogs will be out and about again. We are hoping these new housings will help improve local populations this year and over the next few years, and we need your help.

As part of the program, we are trying to get a better idea of local populations and where they are concentrated so we can help them with housings and work with the council to improve their habitat. If you see any hedgehogs, please do let us know. Please go to our contact form on this website and let us know:
- what you saw
- the date
- the general location

There are also a number of things you can do in your own back garden to help our local hedgehogs.

Helping hedgehogs in your garden

Put out food
Hedgehogs normally eat beetles, caterpillars, earthworms and other insects of which they find plenty. If you want to feed your local hedgehogs you can put out a saucer of meaty pet food. They'll be happy to eat it. A dish of water (not milk) will also help hedgehogs during the summer months or in extreme weather conditions.

A hedgehog highway?
A small gap underneath each span of your garden fence on helps hedgehogs move between gardens and get about. Hedgehogs happily eat your slugs, so they are very handy in the garden!

Make them a house to nest in
You can really help hedgehogs by making them a small hedgehog house they can stay in during the day and hibernate in during the winter.

Other things you can do to help
Avoid using nets in your garden if you can.

Ponds and pools can be dangerous for hedgehogs. Always ensure that there are several gently sloping ways around the edge of any water to allow animals to escape if they fall in.

Keep drains covered so that hedgehogs do not become stuck down them.

Keep dogs under control if you know you have hedgehogs in the garden.

When tidying the garden, take care when moving piles of leaves and other garden rubbish as these are ideal places for a hedgehog to make its nest. Hedgehogs tend to hibernate between November and mid-March and may choose the stack of leaves or branches in your garden that you have built as a bonfire pile. For this reason if you have to get rid of such material, move it to a different spot immediately before setting fire to it; a hedgehog may be sheltering or hibernating in it. Light from one side only to allow an escape route for anything you have missed. They like to nest under things (e.g. sheds, hedges and brushwood) and need plenty of dry leaves to build their nest.

Find out more about hedgehogs: The british hedgehog society have some great information on their website.