May is the month when love is in the air for our hedgehogs.
Keep an ear out for loud grunting and snuffling noises in the garden at night. This could be a giveaway of amorous hedgehog activity.
Did you know, that after mating, the male hedgehog leaves and takes no part in rearing the young? You may see a hedgehog collecting leaves for bedding material, it’s possible this could be a female preparing her nest for the arrival of her babies. If you’d like to know more about hedgehog mating behaviour, you can read more here. https://www.hedgehogstreet.org/about-hedgehogs/hoglets/
Here are some of the things that you can be doing in May to help for the arrival of this season’s baby hedgehogs.
We’re still experiencing very dry conditions, so the top recommendation this month is to continue to put out plenty of fresh water. Use shallow bowls that are easy for the hedgehogs to drink from.
Remember that meaty dog or cat food is a great supplement to their diet. Whilst beetles are their favourite, putting out a bowl of food will give them an extra boost.
STRIMMING YOUR GARDEN? PLEASE TAKE CARE!
Strimmers are one of the biggest causes of serious injury & death for garden hedgehogs. If you are using a strimmer, please check all areas of long grass and brambles carefully first. A hedgehog was found in the park a couple of years ago that had suffered a rear leg amputation. Sadly the hog had to be put to sleep, and it was felt highly likely that he or she had suffered a strimmer injury.
LEAVE AN AREA OF YOUR GARDEN FOR NATURE
Hedgehogs will often bed down in overgrown areas of a garden. If you can leave at least one area untouched, then the wildlife will love you forever! You’ll benefit from visits from bees and butterflies as well as other species. If you include some dead wood, you’re also creating the perfect habitat for our endangered stag beetles. Visit https://ptes.org/campaigns/stag-beetles-2/stag-beetle-facts/
BUILD A HEDGEHOG SUPER-HIGHWAY
If you haven’t yet spoken to your neighbours about creating a hedgehog super-highway, then there’s no time like the present. Just a 13 cm x 13 cm hole at the bottom of a fence panel is all it takes. You could be rewarded with the pitter-patter of tiny hoglet paws in the months to come if you do!