Staff from an online Somerset garden centre are helping promote Hedgehog Awareness Week at the end of April and the beginning of May (April 30 to May 6, 2017).
Potter & Rest based in Bridgwater will be offering people who get in touch free advice about caring for hedgehogs and creating gardens that are hedgehog-friendly.
Gardening advisor for Potter & Rest, Peter Burks explained: “Hedgehogs provide a vital role in helping naturally to control slugs in the garden and are an important friend to the gardener so it’s very important we look after any we come across. We’re more than happy to give anyone interested in finding out more, free advice online or via the telephone and we will also have blogs on the topic on our website during the week.”
The national event is backed by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, which offers lots of assistance to members of the public wishing to encourage and protect the hedgehogs that visit their gardens.
Peter added: “There are lots of things we can all do to help save hedgehogs from unnecessary suffering and potential death. For example, at this time of year when we’re all keeping on top of our garden tidying, bonfires can sometimes conceal a hedgehog, so always check underneath before lighting. Litter is dangerous to hedgehogs too as they can become entangled in plastic or become wedged in yoghurt pots or empty tins. Dispose of litter carefully and squash all your tin cans before recycling them.
“Despite all these hazards, the biggest threat to hedgehogs is habitat loss. During the past 40 years or so, agriculture has favoured large fields and the habitats of the hedgehog, particularly hedges, have been lost. So, take care of any natural hedges around you and if you have space to plant one yourself do get in touch for plenty of free advice on the topic from us.
“Unnecessary pesticide usage also puts pressure on hedgehog populations. With more hedgehog-friendly gardens however, we can all help secure the mammal’s future.”