Hedgehog SOS ….moral dilemma!?

We had an emergency down at the allotment today that has made us question some of our practices.

We had gone as a family to ‘wage war on weeds!’ We had practiced our growls and faces in the car and each person alloted a section to deal with.

Head Gardner started systematically removing the rabbit/pest defences around our assorted brassicas to weed and remove the grass paths. After an hour of concentrated warring (with many a war cry from reluctant digger as he spotted and shooed off the numerous cabbage white butterflies) we were all flagging and considering returning home for some well earned lunch…

Suddenly Head Gardner started talking to himself and called for me to bring him some scissors. He had discovered caught up in the plastic netting a small hedgehog. Luckily the poor creature was still alive but very tangled. Without a thought for the netting Head Gardner cut it out as best he could and placed the poor thing in a plant pot. Unfortunately stuck in the net it seemed weak and still had netting attached.



Abandoning the war on weeds and downing tools we headed to the car to take the hedgehog to our vets (we rung ahead check they would accept it). They’ve taken the poor youngster in and we’re hopeful that they or another vet would be able to help it.

It leads us with a moral dilemma? Do we put back the netting to prevent pests but risk trapping useful wildlife in the protective fence? Or do we leave our crops to be dined on by the local wildlife? What do other allotmenters do? We are very pro wildlife and do not want to find more unfortunate animals caught….

Suggestions please!

9 thoughts on “Hedgehog SOS ….moral dilemma!?

  1. Oh dear, that is a really tricky one. I use netting too, and had only really thought about the chance of getting birds caught up. Any idea why he got tangled? Did you have lots of extra netting furled up on the edges, or a hole in the end where he got in??

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I do too, so maybe that’s something I should sort out. You’re loathed to cut it though aren’t you, in case it becomes too small for whatever the next job is. Maybe just rolling it tightly and anchoring with tent pegs would be ok??


  2. always the dilemma of course, but a lot of what you are already doing – don’t forget – is wildlife friendly (certainly the way the whole family is involved for a good example!)- and the hedgehog in’t dead because you did the right things. Tighten up the netting (lesson learned for me too by the way) and don’t beat yourself up too much about it eh?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I had never though if this happening! I bungle my extra netting up on the sides and bind it all in. Like a blanket stitch around the edge. Takes a while but it’s good and neat and might help? I tend to get tangled in the extra next otherwise!!? Or cover edges with soil?


    1. We’ve tightened the netting for the reminder of the season. For next year we will copy our neighbour and create a tight netting fence, a more permanent structure.


  4. Its difficult trying to keep rabbits off and your above comment about tightening the netting, or use a smaller mesh so that little heads cannot pop through and get caught.. Our Allotments are all open plan not many gardeners have fences around and if they do they are wide wooden slats .. We often get foxes bury things and find the halve eaten carcase of a hen house raid
    Around our home we have gaps deliberately left in our fence so hedgehogs can move easily from garden to garden.
    I hope this little one is now Ok with the Vets good attention.

    Happy Gardening


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