Making the best out of a small garden
2nd April 2019 at 10:49 am #14323
I am new to this forum and wanted to see if there were anyone with some advice on how I can make my courtyard garden welcoming to hedgehogs please.
I heard something in the garden the early hours of this morning and looked out only to see a hedgehog having a wander about!
There are gaps in the fence at either end of the garden already so access isn’t an issue.
The garden is concreted so we have added AstroTurf and potted plants and I didn’t for a moment think that wildlife would want to come into the garden so I’m so happy to see our visitor.
We live by a canal and estuary so there is plenty of wildlife surrounding us.
Do anyone have any ideas on what we could add to the garden please?
Thanks in advance!2nd April 2019 at 9:27 pm #14351
Hi Jarwan 108
Welcome to the Forum!
First of all you might like to have a look at https://www.hedgehogstreet.org/help-hedgehogs/helpful-garden-features/
Probably the most important thing for hedgehogs is access to water. This can be as small as a plant saucer regularly topped up. I use large ones – probably about 8 inches across – because hogs are very clever at accidentally tipping smaller ones over. If you make a pond, make sure there is an escape route for hogs and other animals. Hedgehogs can climb quite well, so maybe able to access a pond even if it is a raised one, so you can’t be too careful.
Astro turf is far from ideal for a hedgehog, but am I right in assuming it is stone, concrete or the like underneath? Lawns, ideally not cut too short and also not treated with chemicals, etc. are good habitats for catching worms, etc., but maybe that isn’t possible.
You might be able to try some of the things mentioned in the link above, for instance log piles don’t have to be very big or untidy and can be contained in a wooden box or the like. Then there are bug hotels. These don’t have to be too fancy. I have an old tea chest which is filled with old woody branches, and hollow stems, piled up fairly neatly and also some corrugated cardboard – things like that. The first year it was there bumble bees built a nest in it, which I saw as a sign of approval. But there are all sorts of bugs and spiders in there. You probably won’t have much woody garden waste yourself, but may be able to find someone who will let you take some of that sort of thing off their hands.
There are bug hotels which are commercially available, but they are expensive and it’s quite easy to make something yourself, and they can be made attractively.
If you know someone who is taking up a bit of lawn, piles of lawn turf upside down can also make homes for beetles (beetle banks) – all good natural food for hedgehogs.
You might even find you have room for a hedgehog house as well.
If I think of anything else, I’ll let you know.
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