Top wildlife tips for hedgehog lovers

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TANYA Knight, resident Wildlife Ambassador at Horsham-based charity Care for the Wild offers tips on how to care for wildlife in your garden. Here the focus is hedgehogs as they emerge from winter hibernation.

Leave an area of your garden ‘wild’ - hedgehogs’ homes should be placed in a quiet and shaded area of the garden where they won’t

be disturbed

If you have a pond, please make sure this is made safe as it’s not uncommon for hedgehogs to fall into accessible ponds and drown

Leave meaty dog/cat food (dry or tinned) or something like dry Weetabix or raisins with some water (milk or bread isn’t good for hedgehogs!)

Try to provide a feeding station - something small enough for the hedgehog to get under and eat from, but too small for a greedy cat or dog to get to the food!

If you’re using a strimmer always check the area beforehand in case any hedgehogs are in the long grass, as every year many suffer terrible injuries from this – all of which could be avoided with a quick check

Avoid using slug pellets – many contain metaldehyde which will kill a range of wildlife, including hedgehogs

If using netting on your plants, please make sure it’s at least a foot above the ground, otherwise hedgehogs can become

entangled in the netting and die.

For anyone planning a bonfire, the easiest way to ensure that there will be no hedgehogs in the pile is to build it on the day you are going to light it, or dismantling and moving it to clear ground before lighting

Finally, remember that hedgehogs are nocturnal so if you see one out in the day

please pick it up, put in a box and contact your local wildlife centre or St Tiggywinkles on

01844 292292.

This article was submitted by Care for the Wild, Brighton Road Horsham. Send your news to ct.news@sussexnewspapers.co.uk