While many people across Suffolk have been out enjoying the heatwaves over lockdown, with temperatures soaring to 38 degrees in some parts of the country, wildlife experts at Spike’s Hedgehog Food are urging people to help out hogs who will be at increased risk of dehydration, with some even dying of thirst in the heat which is set to rise this month.
An abundance of water supplies across the county, such as ponds has declined sharply in recent years, meaning many hedgehogs struggle to get enough water – which is especially important when temperatures rise.
Another serious issue is that the water sources that are available are often unsuitable for hedgehogs to use, such as deep ponds, streams and lakes. Although hedgehogs can swim, if there is no easy way for them to get out, they can end up getting stuck and eventually drown from sheer exhaustion.
Lizzie Jennings, wildlife expert at Spike’s, said: “Hedgehogs need our help. It’s our responsibility to make sure that we protect this species from further decline as their habitats are under ever-growing pressure.
“Even just a few small changes can make the world of difference, such as leaving out a shallow bowl of water, with a low rim, that hedgehogs can easily drink from. If you want to go one step further, create a small, shallow pond in your garden. Hedgehogs can swim well but can also tire easily so make sure there’s an easy exit point from the pond so that they don’t get stuck.”
Anne Brummer, chief executive of the Save Me Trust who runs Project Amazing Grace, a hedgehog charity and Harper Asprey Wildlife Rescue, said: “Water is essential for all wildlife, but very important for our hedgehogs. Puddles and shallow pools will have disappeared in this current climate and this species really needs our help.
“This year’s young hoglets will not last long in the heat without vital hydration as they don’t have the necessary experience or knowledge of deep water locations that can help them. This really is a matter of life or death, and with hedgehogs now officially on the vulnerable list for extinction, we want to encourage everyone to look after this lovely species and protect them.”
Lancashire-based Spike’s Hedgehog Food launched 21 years ago as the first specialist hedgehog food producer in the UK and has been carefully developed to provide a naturally nutritious range of food for wild hedgehogs.
Spike’s products are available from Pets at Home, The Range and Pets Corner, as well as online at www.spikesfood.co.uk – with the popular Starter Bundle available from £10.
The Spike’s Hedgehog Food product range boasts variations including Spike’s Semi-Moist, Meaty Feast, Crunchy Dry and even an Insect Crumble.
In recent years, Spike’s have supported a number of hedgehog welfare charities including the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and Amazing Grace.