Could you be a hedgehog hero? For Hedgehog Awareness Week (5 to 12 May 2019) we’re sharing tips and advice on keeping hedgehogs safe in your garden.

You are much more likely to see a hedgehog shuffling around your back garden at night than out in the countryside but they are there and during the day they can often be found sheltering in long vegetation.

According to the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS), Britain’s hedgehogs are in serious decline, with rural populations falling by at least 50% since the millennium.

East Sussex County Council’s rangers cut around 100 miles of overgrown public paths each year. So, to make sure that any sleeping hedgehogs are kept safe from our strimmers, the rangers have recently become ‘hedgehog heroes’.

Hedgehog Heroes is a campaign run by the BHPS. It aims to make strimmer and lawn mower users more aware of the risk to hedgehogs during the cutting of overgrown vegetation.

Fay Vass, Chief Executive of the BHPS said: “Hedgehogs can easily be killed or seriously injured by strimmers and mowers. Taking time to check an area before cutting can save lives.

“We are delighted that East Sussex County Council, Rights of Way and Countryside Team, has pledged to ensure hedgehogs are kept safe from their machines. We welcome them onto our Roll of Honour!”

How you can help the hedgehog community:

  • Cover drain and holes and, although hedgehogs are good swimmers and appreciate somewhere to get a drink, if they fall into a pond it isn’t always that easy for them to get out. An escape ramp of some kind would be helpful, a piece of wood or piled stones should do the trick.
  • When you build a bonfire always make sure to check it thoroughly before setting it alight.
  • Keep fruit netting in garden at a safe height (30cm) above ground so that there is no chance a hedgehog getting caught up and trapped in it.
  • Try to use natural alternatives to slug pellets and pesticides
  • Hedgehogs may be out and about at the moment but they usually hibernate between November and March. Build a hedgehog home in your garden to encourage them to visit, hibernate and even raise their little families there.

The County Council looks after over 2,000 miles of public paths and ten countryside sites in East Sussex. If you find an overgrown path that is difficult to use, please let us know by emailing or via phone on: 0345 6080193.