With their pointy noses, beady eyes and spiky spines, hedgehogs are just lovely. We always get so excited when we find one in our garden. Bas and Rita, a couple in their fifties, love hedgehogs, too. They want to give these animals a good chance to flourish in their rural garden.
"We're sure that there are hedgehogs in this area, right in the middle of the Flemish Ardennes", says Bas, who is absolutely convinced that this is the case. "We want to persuade them to come to our garden. Not only because they are so lovely ; also because they eat many of the insects which damage our flowers and vegetables."
With the neighbours' agreement, Bas has dug a hedgehog tunnel under the fence in order to give hedgehogs easier access to the garden. "I also make sure I don't clear away too much - piles of leaves and sticks make excellent nesting places for hedgehogs. My compost heap is also a good place for them to sleep."
Rita also decided to place a hedgehog house in her garden. "I covered it with sand, twigs and leaves, and I put some earth and sawdust on the bottom to create a soft base for their soft paw pads. This house provides a snug, dark sanctuary for hedgehogs to build their nest and to hibernate. Now we just have to wait and see!"