How to Attract a Hedgehog into your Garden

How to Attract a Hedgehog into your Garden

Hedgehogs are becoming harder and harder to spot out and about, it used to be a fairly regular occurrence to see one if you happened to be out at night. It's not impossible to find them though, and actually one of the best ways to find them is to help them with what they need.


1. Put out a bowl of water

hummingbird perching on bowl

Photo by @kevbez0312 on

This is step number one because it's an easy, basic thing that they will be looking for on their travels. It may also be helpful for other species in your garden, but keeping this topped up and clean will be helpful for a passing hedgehog, who will also remember where to come back to if it needs to.


2. Add some food

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A little offering of food is perfect for a hedgehog, this includes a bit of fruit, cat or dog food/biscuits. There are things to consider with food though, you obviously want to be careful of attracting unwelcome species like rats into your garden and potentially near your home. You also want to be aware that cats will like cat biscuits and may take the food, but also could pose a threat for the hedgehog if they happen to bump into each other. 

The best way to keep a cat away from the food is to put the food and water bowl into a small hedgehog house. This means that hopefully only a hedgehog will shuffle into it. If you find cats are still trying to squeeze, you can add a few bricks to the entrance and make it a narrow path that hopefully a cat can't fit down.

Usually this is enough to deter the cat, but the hedgehog will trot right in. 


3. A Hedgehog House

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As mentioned above, a hedgehog house is a great idea for protecting the food, but also a great place for them to sleep if you leave it nice and quiet in the garden. They may decide to settle into it for some of the winter. It would be difficult to say exactly if one has taken up residence or not, but popping a trail camera inside would give you that answer without disturbing the hedgehog too much.

You should also be aware that they don't always stay in the same house all winter, if there's a night that becomes quite mild, they use this as a opportunity to travel to a new home, sometimes just swapping houses with other hedgehogs in the area.


4. Leaving some Garden Overgrown

white and purple flower fields

Photo by @anniespratt on

Leaving some of your garden overgrown is great for them to nuzzle through, find their own insects and berries, and hide out if they need too. It is important when attracting a hedgehog that you don't completely give them their whole diet, as if you happened to move, or even go away for a weekend the hedgehog may struggle to find enough to eat if they were relying on you.

It's also important to remember if you have had overgrowth for a while, you should search through it before cutting it, incase somebody has set up home inside.

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