Save UK hedgehogs

Save UK hedgehogs with special fencing

The hedgehog population in the UK has been declining since the early 2000s. Over a third of the UK’s population has been lost in both rural and urban environments. These prickly creatures are crucial to local ecosystems and humans have a huge impact on their lives. Due to efforts over recent years to raise awareness of the impacts and tactics to help reduce these, hedgehog populations are starting to see an increase in urban and suburban areas. 

Taking action

In response to their rapidly declining numbers, the ‘Hedgehog Friendly Fencing’ campaign has been launched, spearheaded by Hedgehog Street, a collaboration between People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) and The British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS). The campaign aims to address the issue of habitat fragmentation, a major concern for hedgehogs in Britain.

Hedgehog highways

Central to the campaign is the establishment of ‘Hedgehog Highways’ as the industry standard in garden fencing, to ensure every fencing manufacturer has ready-made hedgehog friendly fencing as part of their standard range. Making it easy for hedgehogs to migrate freely will enable them to repopulate successfully. Creating tunnels or incorporating holes in fences facilitates their movement and ensures connectivity between gardens, allowing hedgehogs to travel up to 2 kilometres per night in search of mates, food, and nesting sites.

By incorporating 13 cm square gaps, known as ‘Hedgehog Highways’, in fences, the campaign seeks to facilitate hedgehogs’ movement between gardens and green spaces. To drive change, the campaign encourages the public, Hedgehog Champions, and passionate volunteers, to reach out to local and national fencing companies using template letters provided by Hedgehog Street. These letters request the inclusion of hedgehog-friendly fencing options, such as pre-made Hedgehog Highways in fences or gravel boards.

Jacksons Fencing was the first to develop specialist hedgehog gravel boards in 2015, specifically designed with a hedgehog sized hole to enable the animals to roam freely between gardens. These boards are made from high-quality timber treated with the Jakcure® process, ensuring durability and longevity.

Cutting a 13 cm x 13 cm hole in both sides of a garden fence is another viable option that will leave enough room for hedgehogs to pass through while deterring larger animals. Always check with the manufacturer’s guidelines before cutting timber as it may need additional treatment.

Other protective measures 

In addition to hedgehog-friendly fencing, providing food and fresh water, ensuring easy access to ponds, leaving areas of the garden wild and undisturbed, and creating habitats with log piles, leaf piles, and compost heaps also contribute to improving hedgehog livelihoods.

Leigh Barnes at Jacksons Fencing, says: “At Jacksons Fencing, we understand the urgency of addressing this issue and we’re committed to offering our customers sustainable, hedgehog-friendly solutions, such as the Hedgehog Gravel Board. This aims to contribute to hedgehog conservation while promoting the larger goal of sustainability too. There’s no doubt swift action must be taken to protect and restore hedgehog populations. Every effort counts, and together, we can make a meaningful difference to these beloved creatures and the delicate ecosystems they inhabit.”

Scroll to Top