Autumn is the time of year when hedgehogs in the UK are trying to fatten up ready to hibernate through the winter months. We can help them out by supplementing their diet with cat/dog food (not fish flavours), mealworms or food specially made for hedgehogs. Here is how you can feed hedgehogs in your garden, without feeding your neighbours’ cats, using a plastic storage box.
I will be using it without the lid and turned upside down. It will need an entrance approximately 5″ or 13cm in diameter. I used a compass cutter to score the plastic.
You can then cut the plastic (a responsible adult will be required for this part) with a craft knife or scissors.
However, I found it much easier to use an electric multi-tool!
You will then need to file and then sand those sharp jagged edges.
The inner edge of the hole should be smooth enough for you to be happy to run your own hand around it.
To make sure that the hole is the right size, you should be able to just fit a CD/DVD into it.
Put it in your garden where you wish to feed the hedgehogs. Place a brick or two on top to weigh it down. Place the food in a shallow dish at the end farthest away from the entrance hole. The mossy welcome mat is optional. Leave the water dish outside of the feeding station, no animal should be denied a drink of water. Any uneaten food will need to be cleared away in the morning as flies will be able to get in at it.
Wait a couple of hours and swell with pride and a sense of achievement when you find a satisfied visitor.
Another happy customer.
I think he is wondering if he will fit back out through the hole.
Of course he does!
I put together a short sequence of clips taken by a wildlife camera trap. It shows numerous hedgehogs visiting the feeding station, having a chat, a drink and a scratch. It also shows two of the neighbourhood cats failing to get into the box despite their best efforts. Even a squirrel comes to take a look. It is less than two minutes long and can be viewed here.
Hedgehog Street have produced a helpful leaflet about helping hedgehogs in our gardens here.