Hyde Hall becomes a hedgehog haven
14 September 2011
RHS Garden Hyde Hall has joined forces with the South Essex Wildlife Hospital to rehouse hedgehogs onto the garden's 360-acre (146 ha) estate near Chelmsford, Essex.
So far six hedgehogs, including two hand-reared hoglets and an injured adult, have been released at the garden. It is hoped that more will arrive in the next few weeks, giving them time to settle in their new home before going into hibernation.
Hyde Hall’s Biodiversity Chairman, Tim Harper said: 'With numbers declining as they are, the hedgehog is under threat as a species. We have habitats which are ideally suited for hedgehogs so it seemed only right for us to contact our local wildlife hospital and offer our assistance.'
Hedgehogs are becoming a rare sight in the UK and numbers have fallen rapidly due to factors such as a loss of natural habitat, busy roads, intensive farming practices and over-tidy gardens.
Often known as the 'gardener’s friend', hedgehogs should be seen as welcome visitors as they will help keep slugs and other insects under control, however if you intend to encourage these prickly friends into your own garden the Wildlife Hospital offers the following advice:
- Provide them with suitable places to nest, especially in the winter
- Do not use slug pellets; store chemicals safely
- Roll up any netting material so they don’t become entangled
- Keep sheds, greenhouses and garages closed at night