Ponds, Pools and Drains
Ponds and Pools
Ponds can be a big problem, particularly artificial ones with straight, slippery sides that make it impossible for hedgehogs to climb out. Although they can swim fairly well, they cannot tread water indefinitely. Without anything for them to climb onto in order to exit a pond or swimming pool, they will eventually tire and drown. Please keep pools and ponds topped up and provide some form of ramp, e.g. a plank, brick steps or chicken wire ladders, to enable them to climb out. If you are considering adding a pond to your garden, why not make it Grace-friendly with sloping sides to make it safe for hedgehogs and other wildlife to drink the water? In the case of swimming pools, safety covers can also help prevent accidents. If an animals does fall into a pool, refer it to a veterinarian or wildlife rescue, as some of the chemicals used in water treatment can be toxic.
Open drains and steep sided ditches are extremely dangerous. Newly dug footings can attract hedgehogs due to the likely presence of unearthed invertebrates, but they can easily fall in and be trapped by the sheer, steep sides. Please ensure all drain covers are correctly fitted and regularly check drains, trenches, and garage inspection pits to make sure that no hedgehogs are trapped. Provide escape routes such as rigid steel mesh, to act as a ladder, or a plank of wood, but be careful that the angle is not too steep.