Hedgehogs are starting to appear as they come out of hibernation, and if we are lucky, they will be venturing into our gardens. We need to do all that we can to welcome these bristly visitors, as they love to eat pests, such as, slugs and snails who eat our prized plants and shrubs. Unfortunately the population of these prickly little creatures is continuing to decline year on year. Nobody really knows the reason for this dwindling population, but there are many things that we can do as gardeners to keep them safe and thriving.

It is always tempting to make your garden as tidy as possible and make sure that fences are well sealed. However hedgehogs do like to rummage around in fallen leaves and they especially like nesting in log piles, as the damp conditions attract insects such as beetles, which make up a large part of a hedgehog’s diet. When it comes to slugs and snails we need to be careful when laying down poisonous pellets and try and put them in places that are inaccessible to hedgehogs.

If you would like to learn more about hedgehogs, and what can be done to look after them, we will be holding a Hedgehog Day on 15 June at Castle Gardens. Gardeners of all ages are welcome to come and take part in a hedgehog hunt, get up close and personal with live hedgehogs from Secret World Wildlife Rescue and enjoy topical displays from Dorset Wildlife Trust and The Gardens Group on protecting our prickly little friends.