Gardeners urged to drill holes in fence before summer ends

Ivy growing through a wooden fence on a brick wall. Loose Village
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Before summer comes to a close, UK gardeners are being encouraged to drill holes in the bottom of their fences. This advice is due to the drastic fall in hedgehog populations in recent years, largely attributed to changes in environmental conditions and modern gardening.

Hedgehogs, known for their spiky exterior, can actually be beneficial pest controllers in your garden, as they love to feast on slugs, snails, and other molluscs that are a nuisance to gardeners. As such, encouraging these creatures into your gardens could do wonders for protecting your precious fruit, veg, and flower displays.

The dwindling number of hedgehogs has been pointed out by Wildlife shop NHBS: "Research suggests that this is partly because it is becoming harder for hedgehogs to move freely due to an increase in the number of solid walls and fences being erected around gardens. This reduces the available foraging area and so restricts the amount of food that they can eat as well as reducing the possibility of meeting a mate."

As we enter the late summer and early autumn period when hedgehogs are most commonly seen, there's no better time than now to make your garden a welcoming habitat for these useful critters.

"Creating a hole in a garden wall or fence will allow your local hedgehogs to pass through from garden to garden safely.", reports the Express.

Carving out a well-sized hole at the base of your wall or fence with simple tools is one way to go. Alternatively, you can lift up an entire section by several inches for our spiky friends to sneak under, without enabling human trespassers.

Though this might seem like an open invitation for more cats to visit, worry not as these nimble creatures can scale even six-foot-tall barriers, hence no increase in their traffic is expected due to this amendment.

For those wishing to undertake this task in a more professional manner, NHBS offers a durable, metal-enforced hedgehog hole fence plate designed specifically for this purpose.

NHBS further advises: "A hole measuring 13cm by 13cm is the right size for a hedgehog to pass through but too small for most pets. Once you have made your hole in the fence or wall, you can fix the Eco Hedgehog Hole Plate to the fence, ensuring that the hole does not get blocked or stretched. The plate has six screw holes, three along each side, which can be used to fix the plate to your fence or wall. Additional holes can be made in the plastic if required."