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Tackling garden fencing

What is the problem?

This year as part of the Hedgehog Street campaign we are looking into the issue of urban habitat connectivity and hedgehogs. As you may be aware, certain types of garden fences are a big issue.

Hedgehogs in suburban areas are in severe decline. The matrix of gardens and green spaces in suburban areas can support very high densities of hedgehogs – providing there is enough of an area over which they can roam freely.  Radio-tracking studies have demonstrated that the average range size is between 10 and 20 hectares – far larger than the average garden. The fragmentation of these areas by new fences has been identified as a potentially major issue behind the hedgehog decline. Hedgehogs need networks of land, not just gardens.

What’s the solution?

Paula with our Hedgehog Officer Henry and the Betafence product (and Daisy the dog)

We have been working with a company that produces welded steel fencing products for schools and prisons to develop a product that will help hedgehogs pass freely between gardens. This is a hedgehog-porous product that will remedy this problem whilst keeping pets safely contained. It is made of steel and will last a lifetime.

Success! Garden trial with Hedgehog Champion Paula from Surrey

Hedgehog-proof larch lap fencing (with dimensions for our product)

Problematic larch-lap fencing. Permanently impermeable.

Carefully break the gravel board with a sledgehammer (adults only)

Fortunately it’s pretty easy to smash – just be careful. Maybe the storm has helped this process for those of you in southern England…

Remove the gravel board - the fence panel should remain in place

The wood panel should remain in place once the gravel board is removed.

Installing the hedgehog-porous component is easy

The folded corners bear the weight of the fence above

Holes = connectivity of habitat

The larger holes are big enough for the fattest hedgehog, but too small for pets.

In partnership with Betafence.  Please note this is a trial only and not currently a commercially available product.

Off-the-shelf hedgehog-friendly fencing solutions

Buy a pre-made hedgehog-friendly gravel board.