How to Help Hedgehogs – Wildlife Artist Robert E Fuller

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Humble, cute and shockingly rare, hedgehogs need our help more than ever. These prickly creatures have been around for 15 million years and once roamed Britain alongside sabre tooth tigers and woolly mammoths. But since 2002 their decline has plummeted so rapidly they now face extinction. If the trend continues these lovable hogs will only exist in paintings like mine.

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Hedgehog in Autumn Leaves | Limited Edition Print | Available Here

I rescued this particular hedgehog baby, or hoglet, from my garden and grew so fond of it I couldn’t resist painting its portrait. Hedgehogs are reputed to have 5,000 spines, so you can imagine how long it took me to finish! 

Hedgehog reference photograph by Robert E Fuller
Hedgehogs need to roam

Rescuing the hoglet was more difficult than I first imagined. It was so tiny I had to try out different formulas to feed it and ended up buying a heat mat to keep it alive during its first night. Read about what I learned on how to help this hedgehog here. The experience has made me keen to do something about all hedgehogs and so in support of Hedgehog Awareness Week, a campaign run by The British Hedgehog Preservation Society, I’ve put together a list of what you can do to also help hedgehogs.

Make a hedgehog highway

Since 2002 we have lost more than 30% of hedgehogs from our urban areas and almost 50% from the countryside. One of the main reasons hedgehogs are struggling in rural areas is that their habitats have been fragmented. You can make sure they have room to roam by cutting hedgehog ‘doors’ into your garden fences, roughly the size of a CD, or digging holes underneath so they can get under. They travel up to two miles a night.

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Leave ‘wild’ patches in your garden

Add a tussocky patch to your garden as a perfect daytime nesting area for hedgehogs. Allow a corner of your lawn to grow long, or sow a mix of native grasses and wildflowers. Leave this vegetation over winter as it provides a crucial habitat for many invertebrates to complete their life-cycle – a garden buzzing with insects is a great garden for hedgehogs

Build a hedgehog house

Purpose-built ‘hog houses’ are fun, but a woodpile is a multi-functional, one-stop shop for hedgehogs, providing abundant insect food together with a sheltered spot for them to start a family. Simply leaning a piece of wood against a wall or fence. Hedgehogs breed between April and September. In the autumn don’t clear away fallen leaves. Pile them up in quiet, undisturbed corners of your garden to allow hedgehogs a safe, secure area to breed and hibernate.

hedgehog photographed by artist Robert E Fuller
Leave the leaves for hedgehogs

Think about a hedgehog’s diet

Hedgehogs hoover up over 100 invertebrates, such as snails, slugs and worms every night, so don’t use poisonous slug pellets! Check long grass before mowing – accidents happen and you’ll never forgive yourself if you dont! Hedgehogs are lactose intolerant. Far better to make your garden wildlife-friendly. Mulch your flowerbeds to encourage earthworms, woodlouse and other insects for them to eat.

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A hedgehog in the garden is also good fun to watch and you can’t fail to enjoy listening to them snuffling about under the hedge at night!

Art Gifts

If you love hedgehogs you may like my range of hedgehog gifts

Hedgehog art print by artist Robert E Fuller
How about a lovable hedgehog for your wall? My painting is available as a  limited edition print. Click to buy


Bone China Mug by wildlife artist Robert E Fuller
Enjoy a daily cuppa with my a hedgehog mug. Click to buy



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