Hedgehogs need to be able roam and we can help by making our gardens in Reading part of the Hedgehog Highway.
With the exception of their habit of trampling down any seedlings by the fence line, hedgehogs are the gardener’s best friend as they are one of the few things to eat small slugs. Their name comes from the habit of wandering next to a hedge line or fence line rather than out into the open. So, it’s time for us to give a hand to our little spiny friends.
A hedgehog may need to travel 2km a night to find food, water, a mate or a nest site. In the town, the decline in hedgehog numbers may be due to back garden development reducing sites for nests or hibernation, or to impenetrable barriers between gardens forcing them onto pavements and roads. By making small holes in our garden boundaries, we can develop a network of routes that goes from garden to garden across Reading town and means that the hedgehog doesn’t need to cross the road as often in order to go on their nightly walks.
Students at Reading University have already taken the lead. They have appointed a Hedgehog Champion and are working to develop these Hedgehog Highways, starting from Whiteknights Park. This is a wonderful, but other parts of Reading also need these highways.
You can help by creating these holes or openings in your gardens. The holes only need to be about 13cm x 13cm (5 x 5”) hole in the wall or fence which let a hedgehog through but are too small for most pets. Once you have made hedgehog hole, you can log it on www.bighedgehogmap.org, as well as recording any hedgehogs you see on. You’ll find lots of other tips to help hedgehogs on this fantastic website
At the moment, there aren’t that many hedgehog holes marked across Reading nor many hedgehog sightings logged for this year, so please help and get involved, and see if we can make the Reading Hedgehog Super Highway!