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How to Make Your Fencing Hedgehog Friendly

Posted on October 12,2019 by Charlie Stimpson.

Did you know that the hedgehog population in the UK has been in drastic decline in recent years? This is partly due to the fact that, whilst fencing is excellent for the security of your property, it also stops hedgehogs from wandering between gardens, which is something that they need in order to thrive.

In fact, hedgehogs really need the run of three or four gardens to be able to have the best chance of survival, as they travel around one mile every night through parks and gardens, looking for food and a mate. If you can therefore make your garden fencing and posts hedgehog friendly and are able to persuade your neighbours to do the same, you’ll make your garden much more attractive to our prickly friends.

How can I Ensure that my Fencing is Hedgehog Friendly?

The key to ensuring that your garden fencing is hedgehog friendly is to make sure that there is a gap of approximately 13cm by 13cm for them to pass through. If you have pets, don’t worry; this will be too small for nearly all household pets who use your garden.

You can create a gap in your fence yourself using household tools, or you can ask your fence contractor to cut one for you at the time of installing your new fencing. It can be created as a small tunnel shape at the bottom of your fencing, so it won’t look like a huge gaping gap in your fence. Alternatively, you can dig under your fencing – or ask your garden fencing contractors if this is a service that they would offer at an extra cost – and install something like a piece of drainpipe to allow hedgehogs to walk through a tunnel made especially for them.

Are there Ready-Made Hedgehog Friendly Fencing Options?

Some specialist gravel boards are now being made with a small tunnel shaped gap in them for this reason. This will give the hedgehog population in your garden a permanent through-route to your neighbours’ gardens. Gravel boards, whilst important for your fence’s security and as a way to stop rot setting into your fence panels, are one of the biggest reasons that hedgehogs are in decline, so you may wish to consider at least one specialist hedgehog friendly gravel board to allow our prickly pals through.

Can I Plant in Front of the Hedgehog Hole?

Yes you can, there’s no reason why you can’t plant up your borders in front of your hedgehog route as normal. In fact, hedgehogs love a good hedgerow (this is partly where they got their name from!) so why not think about planting a hedgerow in front of your hedgehog crossing?

They also love to have a quiet spot to snooze and hibernate, so you may wish to consider piling up dead leaves and vegetation in one corner of your garden to give them somewhere comfy and cosy.

If you’re replacing your fencing, but wish to consider the needs of hedgehogs, get in touch with D&G Fencing. We are experienced garden fencing specialists but are also up to date with current thinking in terms of wildlife protection. We would be happy to ensure that your new fence suits all inhabitants of your garden in Upminster, Hornchurch or Brentwood, prickly or otherwise!

Photo by Piotr Łaskawski on Unsplash