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Hedgehog pond ladders

One important thing to have a garden is a wildlife pond as it can attract so much wildlife. One downside to a pond is that it can be a potential hazard to hedgehogs. Although hedgehogs are reasonable swimmers and their spines make them quite buoyant, they do tire easily and can struggle to get out of a pond with steep or overhanging sides.

When we put in our pond 14 years ago, although it was always going to be a wildlife pond we had gone for the aesthetic look rather than being hedgehog friendly. Unfortunately our choice of slate which can be very slippery especially when it is wet and the stones overhanging the edges, it does mean that if a hedgehog were to slip into the pond it would have difficulty getting back out.

We are going to redesign the pond slightly by removing the stones at the front and making more of a beach with a gentle slope of pebbles which should make it easier for a hedgehog to get out. However due to the current lock down we will have to wait a few months to complete that. In the meantime we have added in some 'Hedgehog ladders'. As you can see from the photographs below I made them out of a piece of chicken wire folded over to make a double thickness and fixed them in place with some wire strops which I made out of twisted galvanised wire. I put a twisted loop at the fixing end and used wire tent pegs pushed into the ground behind the stones. The hedgehog ladder in the shallow end has some stones underneath it to give it some support. You will need to make them long enough to go quite deep into the pond to allow for the change in water levels, particularly in dry summers.

Hedgehog ladders

The pond with its 3 hedgehog ladders, one at the front and 2 on the sides. Because I have used chick wire the ones at the back blend in reasonably well.

Hedgehog ladders

The hedgehog ladder at the front with some stones to give it some support. You can see the wires strops that fix it in place.