stop hedgehog decline

How to Stop Hedgehog Decline

Jane Marsh - March 5, 2018

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Whether you’re a human or an animal, there’s no denying that the world can be a seriously dangerous place. Unfortunately, many animal species are on the decline. As people fight to save some groups of animals, others start to decline in numbers. Whales and polar bears are the most popular animals you probably hear about. But, an animal that you may not know about that is currently in decline is the hedgehog.

Although the study in question refers to the U.K., it’s happening all around the world.  Since the 1950s, the hedgehog population has declined from a healthy three million to the one million mark.

It’s a disturbing trend that needs to be examined more closely. Moreover, you may be wondering how you can help these little guys get back up to a healthy number. Luckily, there are ways in which you can contribute to hedgehog conservation.

Easy Access to Your Garden

One of the reasons that hedgehogs are declining is due to the differences in urban and rural areas. You would think that rural areas would be an excellent place for creatures such as hedgehogs. And, while you aren’t entirely wrong, the problem lies more in the intensive farming in these areas than the actual areas themselves.

So, one of the ways in which you can help the hedgehogs is to give them easy access to your garden. No, they won’t mess with your vegetables. Instead, the hedgehog will end up linking this place to another habitat. In other words, it acts as a place the hedgehog can go if problems arise in the wilderness. It also gives the animal new foraging ground. By just keeping a small opening in your garden, you can stop hedgehog decline.

Leave Some of Your Garden “Wild”

This may go against the typical thinking of planting a garden. After all, aren’t gardens supposed to be tidy? Yes, the garden can still be neat even if you leave small areas unkempt. Utilize a corner of the garden and pile it with some leaves and logs. It acts as an invitation for the hedgehog and provides a cozy place to sleep.

Not only will the hedgehog have a sweet little spot to rest in, but the place will also attract invertebrates that hedgehogs eat. Again, don’t be afraid. Your garden will be exquisite, and the hedgehog shouldn’t get into trouble in it.

Make Your Garden Welcoming

If you go over to a friend’s house and they provide dinner, you are probably eager to return there soon. Likewise, hedgehogs will love if you leave out food and water for them. Depending on the landscape, the hedgehog may have a hard time finding food and water. Doing this will not only make your garden inviting, but you will also be helping them live by giving them sustenance.


A couple points to note is that you need to give them water and not milk. Milk gives the little guys diarrhea, so be wary. It’s also nice to provide them with tinned dog or cat food or specialty hedgehog food. Either way, you will make their day.

Be Safe When Landscaping

Hedgehogs can show up at any time. Whether it’s midnight or three in the afternoon, the hedgehogs may wander out of the garden and into your yard.

If this happens, you need to be aware of them when mowing. You will suffer from a broken heart if you accidentally end up running over one of them. You mean well, so be sure to look before you mow.

Build a Small Shelter

Kudos to you if you leave small pieces of wood and leaves for the hedgehogs to cuddle in. If you want to go that extra mile, then you can also build a small hedgehog house. You don’t need many supplies, and it doesn’t need to be extra spacey. It only needs to be a small and compact shelter.

You can even put the food and leaves in there if you want!

Help the Hedgehogs

Hedgehog decline is important. It’s another animal that may become extinct if we don’t support them. Instead of shooing them out of your yard, show them some love and follow the steps above. You will help them survive and assist the environment as well!


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About the author

Jane Marsh

Starting from an early age, Jane Marsh loved all animals and became a budding environmentalist. Now, Jane works as the Editor-in-Chief of Environment.co where she covers topics related to climate policy, renewable energy, the food industry, and more.