Hedgehog numbers are declining across Europe, so it’s important we keep these friendly, little critters safe and out of harm’s way. Here are some ways you can mow your lawn and avoid any risk to the hedgehog altogether.
1. Mow during the day
Get the best of both worlds and mitigate the risks to hedgehogs while also mowing your lawn at the best time of day.
Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals and so they are unlikely to be roaming about in your garden during the day. Also, the best time of day to mow your lawn happens to be mid-morning, about 10am.
2. Walk your patch first
Walking through your patch will mean you can safely remove a hedgehog before you encounter one with your cordless mower and risk injuring the animal.
We always encourage you to walk the area you wish to mow before you start up your battery mower, as this will also mean you’re able to remove any stones or other debris that might harm your mower.
3. Mow slowly and keep watch
It’s best to mow slowly and methodically whenever you come to mow your lawn, even with a ride on mower. Mowing slowly allows you to be more vigilant and spot hazards such as hedgehogs in the path of your mower.
4. Mow from the centre outwards
Starting mowing with your battery lawnmower in the centre of your garden is a good idea if you want to minimise the risk to hedgehogs and other animals. Beginning in the middle allows any animals to scurry away outwards and escape into nearby hedgerows and undergrowth.
5. Create a hedgehog haven
Also known as ‘wilding’, leaving an area of your garden untouched from the cordless mower is an excellent idea for hedgehog safety. Here’s some general tips to create a hedgehog friendly patch:
- Cover holes such as drains
- Avoid using slug pellets and pesticides in the area
- Plant wildflowers and have an insect hotel. These will both attract insects that hedgehogs love to eat
- Plant small shrubs and hedgerows where hedgehogs can take shelter
What you should do if you find a hedgehog in your garden
If you find a hedgehog in your garden during the day, it’s likely the animal is in trouble. Here’s what you should do if you find one:
- Using protective gloves, gently cup under the hedgehog and lift it up
- Place the animal carefully in a high-sided box
- Take the hedgehog to an animal rescue centre. If the centre isn’t open and you need to take it in the next day, place the box somewhere warm and dry overnight. You can give the hedgehog a bowl of water as well as some dog or cat food to eat. However, we advise avoid feeding the animal directly