Hedgehogs are beginning to disappear from English gardens and something needs to be done about it. Not only are the spiny little critters the beloved mascot of everything that was right with our childhood, but they also play an important part in the ecological balance of the average English garden.
The diet of a hedgehog consists mainly of the worms and parasites that make their homes in the relative safety of the hedgerows. The absence of the animal removes the natural check that balances the presence of such undesirables down to tolerable levels.
The decline of the hedgehog means the rise of the grubs, which force some homeowners to resort to chemical means of control. An ironic twist of fate, considering chemical gardening is one of the factors driving hedgehogs away from gardens in the first place. This is in addition to habitat fragmentation due to urban development and planning.
Fortunately, people can use the very tools that are pushing hedgehogs to the brink to bring them back in greater numbers. The biggest problem hedgehogs face is space; these animals are not territorial and will abandon a place rather than fight a threat. But they also need to roam to find food and other hedgehogs, not a good combination when confronted with an asphalt road.
The answer is hedgehog tunnels – tiny makeshift passageways that will allow hedgehogs access to different gardens with little resistance, as well as allow them to cross large man-made obstacles. The best part about this solution is that it does not even have to take a government program to make this happen.
Everyone can do their part to help the hedgehog; a hole in a garden fence, or a hedgehog house from http://longacres.co.uk, is more than enough to help the small creatures do what they need to do, and make our gardens better by their presence.
Help a hedgehog today and dig a hole in your garden; it does not seem like much, but the biggest things in life begin with the smallest gestures. Right now, the smallest critters need as much of those gestures as we can spare.