Help Hedgehogs Prepare for Hibernation!

Hedgehog in autumn leaves by Tom Marshall

Hedgehog in autumn leaves by Tom Marshall

#MyWildlife Autumn Case Study: Meet Jan Buton!

Jan Burton's garden is a haven for hogs & other wildlife! #MyWildlife

Jan Burton's garden is a haven for hogs & other wildlife! #MyWildlife

Autumn is a truly magical time of year when nature is at its most colorful. Leaves turn into a mosaic of golds, reds and oranges; sunsets are breathtaking and woodland carpets produce an array of fabulous fungi. It's also a good time to experience and help wildlife in our gardens!

In this article we are focusing on 'Helping Hedgehogs' as they prepare for hibernation. We will also meet Jan Burton, a 'Hedgehog Helper' from Neath Port Talbot whose garden has become a happy habitat for local hogs!

Name: Jan Burton

Lives: Neath Port Talbot, South Wales

Favourite Garden Visitor: Hedgehogs! Over the late summer months Jan was having regular nightly visits from up to 5-7 hedgehogs including hoglets! They'd come to her garden to forage for nesting materials and for food and water.

Smile for the Trail Cam: Click on the 'hedgehog' link to view trail camera footage of two visiting hogs to Jan's garden.  Hedgehog

Jan is helping hogs in her garden this autumn by...

1. Providing a hedgehog house in a sheltered area at the back of the garden.

2. Keeping her garden pesticide and chemical free. This attracts slugs which hogs love.

3. Inspecting foliage and shrubs before using the garden strimmer for any hiding hogs!

4. Leaving a small area of her garden overgrown with lots of dead leaves.

5. Leaving out food and fresh water. WILD TIP - for visiting hogs try scattering food around your garden in a more natural way. Meaty cat or dog food is always a firm favourite! Don't leave out milk or bread as this can cause stomach upsets in hedgehogs.

Jan's hedgehog hints and tips...

1. Don't interact with them if possible and please don't pick up healthy hogs!

2. Make sure there is easy access through gardens in the street as they have been known to roam 2km on a single night. Garden to garden access will also keep them safe from busy roads.

3. Don't forget to check bonfires before lighting them!

4. Hedgehogs are wild animals, so being handled can be stressful for them. If you find a sick hedgehog please contact a specialist group before trying to help.

Hedgehogs need our help, with the UK population crashing by 30% over the last 10 years. You can help a hedgehog by becoming a member of the Trust or purchasing an adoption pack.