News story

Five simple steps to transform gardens into ‘hedgehog havens’

Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss today lent her support to campaigns encouraging local communities to make gardens 'hedgehog-friendly'.

Small changes to our outdoor areas and gardening habits can help create a ‘hedgehog haven’ and protect this iconic animal, announced Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss.

Speaking today, the Environment Secretary lent her support to campaigns encouraging local communities to work together to look out for the hedgehog and make gardens as welcoming as possible. From letting grassy areas grow wild to providing food and shelter, she explained the simple steps we can all take to protect hedgehogs.

Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said:

Hedgehogs are one of our most treasured animals and play an important role in both this country’s heritage and natural environment.

Glimpsing hedgehogs in my garden is one of my fondest childhood memories and inspired me to learn more about the world around me.

I want to ensure children for generations to come can enjoy this special sight, but this can only happen if everyone does their bit to look out for these important creatures – that’s why we have developed these simple tips to help adults and children alike learn more about our precious wildlife and how we can all support it.

Defra has worked with the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and People’s Trust for Endangered Species to provide five easy ways everyone can help hedgehogs thrive in back gardens.

Help a hedgehog today

The five tips for creating a hedgehog haven in your garden are:

  1. Let areas of garden grow wild to mimic hedgehogs’ natural habitat
  2. Provide shelter in the colder months through logs piles and compost heaps
  3. Use garden chemicals such as slug pellets carefully
  4. Leave out water and foods such as boiled eggs, chopped nuts and sultanas
  5. Consider planting hedgerows to help hedgehogs move between gardens

Fay Vass, Chief Executive of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society said:

We are delighted that the Environment Secretary, Elizabeth Truss is speaking out on how to help hedgehogs.

With their population falling by a third in urban areas and by half in rural areas since 2000, doing all we can to help Britain’s only spiny mammal is more important now than ever.

I hope these tips will inspire people to find out more and perhaps even become a Hedgehog Champion themselves at

These tips come ahead of plans to provide one million native British trees to schools and local communities as part of a new Government campaign later this year to connect children with nature and the environment. They also support Defra’s 25 year environment plan which will be published later in the year as part of a comprehensive, long-term vision to protect and enhance the country’s natural environment.