Ecotricity logotype
/Our news/2018/How to create a hedgehog friendly garden

Our news

    Browse archives
    Our news

    How to create a hedgehog friendly garden

    Press enquiries

    If you are a journalist with a media enquiry, please contact our Press Office on 01453 761 318 or you can email

    For all other general enquiries, please call 01453 756 111 or email

    By Stacey Budd
    Oct 9, 2018

    Having a hedgehog in the garden is really beneficial if you’re a gardener, as they eat all the slugs and snails they can get their little mouths on. Here are a few things you can do to make sure your garden is a welcoming place for these helpful hogs.

    Provide access

    Hedgehogs do best with a free run of your whole neighbourhood as they search for food and mates. The increase in garden fencing is one of the reasons hedgehogs are endangered, as they need more than one garden to survive.

    A small gap under your garden gate or fence is ideal – an opening of just 13 square cm at ground level will give them all the space they need to get around. 

    Remove hazards

    Check if you have any drains or holes that could be a potential trap for visiting hedgehogs, and cover them so you don’t have any casualties. Get rid of any netting when you’re not using it, to prevent them getting entangled or injured.

    It’s really important to avoid slug pellets as these can be mistaken for food. And since hedgehogs eat slugs, your garden will be even more attractive.

    Make a hedgehog house

    Hedgehogs live anywhere they can find shelter. Log piles provide a safe, secure site for breeding or hibernating, and with masses of insects in residence, there’s a year round food supply.

    Compost heaps or leaf piles are another favourite, providing nesting sites, bedding material and an abundance of delicious creepy crawlies. You can also build or buy hedgehog homes – just make sure you get them outside well before hibernation season (November to March) so they start to smell like the garden.

    Put food out

    Leave fresh water out for your visiting hogs, along with hedgehog friendly food. Hedgehogs can eat:

    • Pet shop bought hedgehog food

    • Puppy or kitten food (meat or chicken in jelly)

    • Cooked chicken or raw minced meat, chopped up small

    • Chopped unsalted nuts

    Hedgehogs are actually lactose intolerant, so don’t leave out milk and bread as this could make them sick.

    Let your garden grow wild

    Pick a corner of your garden and let it become overgrown. It’ll provide a great area for hedgehog hibernation and nesting spots to go undisturbed, and encourage more insects which are a good source of food for your visitors.

    Build a pond

    Ponds provide a great place for your visiting hedgehogs to go for a swim, and they also act as a reliable water supply.

    Your guests can enjoy the added insects and amphibians a pond will attract. Just make sure you build a gently sloping edge for them to climb back out – stones work perfectly.

    Plant deciduous trees

    Hedgehogs can be pretty fussy about which leaves they use to build their nests for hibernation. A deciduous tree loses its leaves in autumn – like oak, apple or hornbeam – and they’re just the right size for your hedgehogs to build a nest in time for winter.

    Keep hedgehogs safe

    Once your garden has been turned into a hedgehog haven, it’s important to keep your visitors safe. Be sure to:

    • Check for hedgehogs before using lawn mowers or strimmers

    • Check compost heaps before raking them over

    • Build bonfires close to the time of lighting, and check before you set them ablaze

    • Avoid the use of pesticides, as they can be poisonous to hedgehogs

    And by following these simple steps, you’ll have the perfect spot for hedgehogs to make themselves right at home.

    Similar articles

    Ecotricity to power homes with Geothermal energy in UK first

    Ecotricity has signed a pioneering agreement that enables the production and sale of geothermal electricity for the first time in the UK


    Ecotalk + RSPB: the new mobile phone provider

    The RSPB have joined forces with Ecotalk, one of Britain’s most sustainable phone providers that’s committed to change, to create Ecotalk + RSPB.

    Ecotricity's reasons to be cheerful 2020

    We look back at the green and environmental news from the year, and there are more than a few reasons to be cheerful.

    Get the book!

    Manifesto out now


    Our founder Dale Vince shares his thoughts on the green revolution

    Explore the site

    Don’t just take our word for it…

    Ecotricity is recommended by
    • Our story
    • Our mission
    • Our manifesto
    • 25 years of Ecotricity
    • Ecotricity innovation
    • Walking the talk
    • Our partners
    Ecotricity logotype