How to Make a Hedgehog Highway | A Great Way To Help Hedgehogs

How to Make a Hedgehog Highway | A Great Way To Help Hedgehogs

Build a hedgehog highway by making holes in your walls and fences to let hedgehogs pass from one garden to the next. Cut a hole in the bottom of fences. Take a brick from the bottom of garden walls. Dig a shallow trench under gates of fences and push through a soil pipe to make a tunnel.The holes should be roughly 5 inches square and ideally, you should have one on each side of the garden.

Why Make a Hedgehog Highway?

Even though they are the nation’s favourite animal hedgehogs in the UK are in trouble. 

One of the main reasons for this is the secure fencing off of the land they need to roam through.

Though our gardens, equipped with hedgehog houses, food and water, can make perfect hedgehog habitat, one garden is rarely going to be enough for a hedgehog. They need to travel around a mile each night to get the food they need.

So one of the best things you can do to help hedgehogs in your area is to build a hedgehog highway.  

Don’t worry, you wont need a hard hat and a ton of tarmac, it’s easier than you think. And in this article we are doing to show you how.

What is a Hedgehog Highway?

A hedgehog highway is a series of holes in fences and walls that allow hedgehogs to pass freely between gardens, parks and allotments. Hedgehog highways allow hogs to move around without having to use human roads, which can be very dangerous for them.

How Big Should the Hole Be?

Your hedgehog highway hole should be about 5 inches or 13cm square. This is about the size of a CD case. 

Holes should be at ground level. You should make a hole on each side of your garden if you can.

This size hole will let hedgehogs move around freely without letting dogs or small children escape.

How to Make Highway Holes

There are several options for making suitable holes.

  1. Cut a hole in the bottom of your fence.
  2. Remove a brick from the bottom of a wall.
  3. Dig a shallow tunnel under your fence, wall or gate and push a soil pipe through.

Remember to rub down any sharp edges or cover with gaffer tape.

You can also buy hedgehog friendly fencing, which could be a good idea if you are re-fencing your garden.

If you are replacing your fencing you could also think about replacing it with a hedge. Hedges provide privacy whilst letting hedgehogs and other wildlife roam freely. They are also fantastic habitats if you choose the right hedging plants.

And if you live in a very new house it’s worth checking that you don’t have a highway already. In 2019 planning regulations were changed to require house builders to include hedgehog highways in all new developments.

Talk to the Neighbours

If you are cutting holes in the fences you need to talk to your neighbours. 

Some of the fences surrounding your property will belong to other people. So check your plans before you start sawing!

By talking to the neighbours, explaining what you are doing and why, you may inspire them to build highways themselves. This is how the network spreads and hedgehogs get the freedom to roam that they need.

Signpost and Map

Once you have cut your holes signpost them. No, this isn’t so the hedgehogs know where they are going. It’s so other people know what the holes are for and don’t block them up.

You can buy these cute little signs from The British Hedgehog Preservation Society. Or get creative with the paint and make your own.

Sing post your hedgehog highway

Finally register your highway with Hedgehog Street here. This will help scientists studying the British Hedgehog to understand how much of a positive impact highways are having on local populations.

Conclusion: Build a Hedgehog Highway Today.

Though our gardens make great hedgehog habitat we need to link them to provide enough space for hedgehogs to roam.

Making holes in your fences to create a highway is a quick and easy way to help Britain’s favourite mammal.

For more on how to help hedgehogs visit:

https://shop.britishhedgehogs.org.uk

And if you see a hedgehog in trouble, find your local rescue centre here.

We hope you’ve found this post useful. If you have questions or suggestions we would love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment below.

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Clare Stone

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