How to: Protect hedgehogs in your garden

Hedgehogs are at risk, but you can help by supporting them in your garden. These prickly creatures are garden friends, eating slugs and snails, so it really is worth making a little effort. Just follow our simple tasks for happy hedgehogs:



Hedgehogs love:

  • Encourage hedgehogs by leaving food out for them. 
  • Provide a shallow bowl of clean, fresh water – replenish daily, particularly in hot or windy weather.
  • Use up excess egg and bacon from the kitchen – hedgehogs are partial to hard boiled eggs and bacon rind. 

Hedgehogs don't like:

  • Leave out milk – it can make hedgehogs ill causing more harm than good.
  • Food placed within easy reach of predators – hedgehogs like to feel safe when they’re eating so put food and water in a sheltered spot.
  • Bread – hedgehogs will eat it, but it makes them ill.



Hedgehogs love:

  • Log and leaf piles in hidden-away areas of the garden – hedgehogs may nest in them and they’ll attract insects for them to eat.
  • Hedgehog houses – position one in a quiet corner to provide a ready-made habitat. Check out your local Dobbies for a range of wildlife houses.
  • Keep things a bit messy – hedgehogs like long grass, fallen leaves and gardens with a wild feel.


  • Position hedgehog houses where they will be disturbed by children or other animals.
  • Face hedgehog houses towards the north – cold wind will whistle through the entrance. 
  • Turn compost heaps with a fork before checking for hedgehogs – they’re often living inside.


Around the garden


  • Make sure ponds and water features have a way for hedgehogs to exit the water should they fall in.
  • Check bonfires thoroughly before lighting – there may be hedgehogs inside.
  • Take care when mowing, especially long grass – hedgehogs are often injured by garden tools. 


  • Go overboard with fruit netting – hedgehogs can get caught up in it so only use it when you really have to.
  • Leave drains, wells or swimming pools uncovered – hedgehogs are likely to fall in and drown.

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