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Are dense blackberry bramble bushes good places for a hedgehogs??

Home Forums Champions’ chat Are dense blackberry bramble bushes good places for a hedgehogs??

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    I seen some hedgehogs in the garden, so setups of feeding stations and a hedgehog houses, and made sure there are gaps in the fences, so they can access the two gardens attached to my garden, but one of my neighbours garden, more than half of the garden is covered with dense thorn bushes bramble bushes, so would it be difficult for hedgehogs to move through them, or would better to thin them out or try to remove them altogether, as my neighbours in favour of aiding the hedgehogs, and where there is a gap in her side of the fence, It is right by all the dense bramble bushes


    Hi Maggsy,

    I would worry about the hedgehogs getting the thorns in their feet after losing one last year to a foot infection, but I have just been listening to Hugh Warwick on the BBC talking about the hedgehouse house survey and he is a big fan of brambles (he mentioned them twice!) and leaving patches of gardens wild.

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    Hi Maggsy

    I think what you are describing sounds a brilliant place, not only for hedgehogs but for many other creatures – insects, birds, etc. I expect there are loads of tunnels underneath it. It sounds exactly the sort of place a hedgehog would like – loads of places to make nests, lots of leaves, lots of natural food, etc. It sounds ideal, with the hedgehogs having cover right up to the gap in the fence. And then, presumably your garden is a bit different, so the hogs would have the benefit of some different habitat in your garden and your other neighbour.

    The only thing I would suggest is try not to let it spread too far – so maybe a bit of judicious pruning round the edges. (Your neighbour probably doesn’t want her house to end up like sleeping beauty’s palace!) But if you try to remove it or thin it out you could do more harm than good to the wildlife. It is just the sort of area which it would be good if more people had. If hedgehogs are able to find their own wild food, it is so much better than anything we can offer them, so I hope your neighbour decides to let it stay.

    Good luck with the hedehogs.


    Thanks for your reply, as I am in the same opinion as you, as thought it would be difficult for hedgehogs to get through them, especially as they have sensitive feet, but on the other hand, I thought I could be wrong,

    But as you mentioned,Hugh Warwick on the BBC talking about the hedgehouse house survey and he is a big fan of brambles (he mentioned them twice!) and leaving patches of gardens wild.

    so I would appreciate other people’s opinion on this subject, or anyone who has dense brambles In they’re garden and hedgehogs, and if the they know the hedgehogs use the dense brambles, or maybe seem to avoid them


    Thanks for your reply Nic, I will show all the responses that I may get, to my neighbour. So then she can decide what to do or not to do

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    Hi again Maggsy

    I really don’t think you need to worry about the hogs getting bramble thorns in their feet – this is no more likely than them getting any other sort of thorns in their feet in the garden. Hedgehogs would have been living amongst brambles, etc. for at least hundreds of years. They would have tunnels underneath the brambles, rather than walking on them. It would not be difficult for them to make their way through. The clue is in the name HEDGEhogs, it is pretty much what they have evolved to deal with.

    Pat Morris in his book ‘Hedgehogs’ says with regard to gardens:
    ‘Tidy-mindedness is another problem. Gardeners like to sweep up dead leaves, root out brambles and keep their patches neat, but in doing so remove vital sites for winter nests and necessary nesting material.’
    He says further, with regard to winter nesting:
    ‘As the autumn nights got colder, the hedgehogs stopped using the main grassy areas of the park and began to congregate inside small (supposedly rabbit-proof) fenced off areas of brambles and scrub. Here they built their winter nests, tucked up against fallen logs or underneath bramble strands or piles of brushwood. Elsewhere they use similar sites …..’

    I have a friend whose garden was shared with the neighbours, which had a very large patch of brambles and shrubs which sounds very similar to what you described. (although ‘half of the garden’ doesn’t really give a very good idea of the expanse of the area you are talking about – gardens vary hugely in size.) There were hedgehogs around and there were also loads of birds, butterflies, etc. as well. Sadly, new occupants have cleared the area. It may be a coincidence that since then 4 hedgehogs have been found dead on a very small stretch of the nearby road, but, if good habitat is removed, the hedgehogs will have to move further afield to find more and this might include crossing roads.

    As I see it, part of the point of Hedgehog Street is, not only to link gardens, but also improve the habitat in them for hedgehogs. The ultimate ideal would be for us not to need to feed the hogs, but for them to be able to find food for themselves. To my mind removing the brambles, etc. is more likely to be detrimental to that aim, and the hedgehogs, than leaving them.

    If, your neighbour does decide to remove part of the brambles, etc., for whatever reason, please, neighbour, leave at least some of it.

    A very important thing to beware of, if clearing of any kind is being done, is strimmers, brush cutters, hedge cutters, mowers and other garden equipment. These can cause horrendous injuries and death to hedgehogs, so very great care needs to be taken if using them. Particularly in this sort of area, where hedgehogs could be nesting. Remember their defence is to roll up – not run away.

    The following are extracts from BHPS ‘Know your Hedgehog’

    ‘Wild Patches – STRIMMERS MUTILATE – take care when mowing long grass and tidying wild patches, as they are an ideal place for a hedgehog’s nest. When cutting long overgrown areas cut initially to about a foot long and then check for hedgehogs and other wildlife before cutting any lower.’

    ‘ …. if you do accidentally disturb a nest with a single adult hedgehog in it, replace the nesting material. The hedgehog can then either repair the nest or build another elsewhere. If the disturbed hedgehog is hibernating and wakes up, a dish of dog food and some water each night until it starts hibernating again would be helpful.

    If there are babies in the nest, again replace the nesting material, handling the nest as little as possible so as not to leave your smell on it. Keep an eye on the nest to see if mum returns. If there is no sign of her by the next morning telephone the BHPS for advice and a local contact. Do not allow friends, children etc to uncover the nest for a peep. If the mother has returned, she may abandon or even eat her young if she is disturbed

    See also


    Hi Nic

    Thanks for all the information, I have not seen my neighbour yet, but I know after I showed her what you put, she will leave the brambles as they are, as the top half of the garden, she has segregated it off, as she does not use that part, mainly because she hates gardening, which is good news for wildlife

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