Hedgehogs rehoused thanks to RHS

RHS Garden Hyde Hall has joined forces with the South Essex Wildlife Hospital to rehouse hedgehogs on its 360-acre estate near Chelmsford.

So far six hedgehogs – including two hand-reared hoglets and an adult who had an unfortunate meeting with a garden strimmer – have been released at the garden.

It is hoped that more will arrive in the next few weeks, giving them time to settle in before going into hibernation.

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.

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.”

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 please follow this good advice from the Wildlife Hospital:

• Provide them with suitable places to nest, especially in the winter

• Do not use slug pellets and store chemicals safely

• Roll up any netting material so they don’t become entangled

• Keep sheds, greenhouses and garages closed at night

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