Last year in September I spotted a hedgehog on our terrace for the first time (probably also the first time I had see one, I don’t remember). Something small and round came walking with a lot of confidence through our cats hole in the fence. Our cat didn’t care at all and I was just sitting there not sure what was happening just now.
Hedgehogs or egels in Dutch and Igel in German are one of the most endangered local species we have in Europe. They used to cross our streets in thousands but right now only a few are left to try it and some of them meet a fatal ending. Hedgehogs hibernate and they depend on enough food before winter comes and a place to sleep safely from November till mid March. The harder the winter the lower the chances for the hedgehogs to make it through it.
You don’t need a huge garden or a wildlife paradise to attract hedgehogs as you can see from my terrace/allotment. All it takes is a hungry hedgehog (that’s what they normally do: eat, drink, sleep and build nests), an entrance to your garden, preferably two so it can pass through, water and some bugs that come out at night (a few stones and some green foliage make a big difference). And if everything is set you might be surprised about who is visiting your garden at night time.
After seeing our hedgehog (taking ownership already) drinking from the bowl I have placed outside a few days ago, I decided to make him or her a sleeping place. The forecast for this winter is pretty grim and cold, and I wanted to make sure it has a nice and secure place to stay.
Being lazy by nature I went to my garden centre to buy a hedgehog house. They are not super expensive and this one from Esschert Design also looks very attractive, I think. Handmade and very natural. All I needed now was a corner to fit it in, some dried leaves and sticks to cover it and with a bit of luck and patience the hedgehog (I should give him a name, what do you think of Harry?) will move in.
In the mean time I will be feeding Harry with boiled eggs and cat crackers, which as you can see below already works very well.
For more tips on how to help hedgehogs check out the link.