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Our great-looking home is a safe retreat for hedgehogs. With its gently-sloping roof and distinctive hedgehog silhouette design carved on the front, it's definitely a ''des-res'' for our spiky friends! It's safe too - the internal entrance is concealed, to help protect them from predators. Although it's cosy for the long winter, there are ventilation holes to aid air flow. The secure roof can be opened for inspection and cleaning.
View what's happening in your hedgehog home with a wildlife camera. This hedgehog home comes with a pre drilled hole to enable easy camera instalation. The box may be used as a nest site from spring until June/July, and as shelter from poor weather and predators until their winter hibernation. They will typically hibernate between November and March dependent on the weather.
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Position the Hedgehog home somewhere quiet, out of the prevailing wind. Under shrubs is an ideal place as it will help to ensure the hedgehogs are undisturbed. Cover the shelter with leaves and brushwood to camouflage it and create a cosy den.
Hedgehog houses may be used for winter hibernation, throughout the summer as a safe shelter, or, if you're very lucky, by a female making a nest to have her young.
Consider making your garden more wildlife friendly. Hedgehogs need to be able to get from garden to garden to look for food. Solid fencing all-round will prevent them being able to travel between gardens so ensure there's a gap or that you choose natural hedging in places instead of solid fence. You can also encourage hedgehogs by providing them with suitable habitats. They like thick dense undergrowth and a variety of lengths of grass. You may also be able to provide hedgehogs with supplementary food. This is particularly useful during periods of drought when natural insect foods may be harder to come by. Their varied diet allows them to eat many kinds of foods we have around the home. With the exception of milk, bread, and mealworms, which should be avoided, you can put out almost anything. A particular favourite is dog or cat food, but you can also try small amounts of cake, biscuits and pastry as well as fresh and dried fruits and cooked vegetables.
Avoid using toxic chemicals. Slug pellets can be particularly detrimental. When putting preservative on garden sheds, fences and other wood furniture around the garden use non-toxic brands. Hedgehogs often lick new smells and surfaces. Hedghogs habitually hide themselves in piles of leaves, grass cuttings, pampas grass, compost heaps and bags of rubbish. Always check these before burning, cutting, strimming, mowing, putting a fork into or disposing of them. Many plastic items can trap, ensnare or cut a hedgehog. These include netting, plastic can holders, large necked bottles, plastic pots and barbed wire.Hedgehogs can also easily fall down holes, into water troughs, ponds, swimming pools and other types of water vessel. If you cannot prevent them from falling in, then make sure there is always a way for them to get out. Dogs can injure hedgehogs, so make sure you know what your dog is doing when in the garden late at night.
If you accidentally disturb an active hedgehog nest, carefully replace the material. The hedgehog will soon repair or move the nest elsewhere. If there are young in the nest, avoid touching them. Similarly, if it is a hibernating adult, avoid waking it. Should it wake, you may want to leave it some food nearby until it hibernates again.
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Age: 55 - 64
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