• Weedkiller probably caused hedgehog illness indirectly

    23rd June 2020 | News | Claire
  • I have just delivered this letter to around 25 of my neighbours…

    Dear Neighbour

    A few days after I discovered my garden had weedkiller sprayed on it last week I found a little hedgehog curled up in the full sun of my flowerbed. It was breathing rapidly and clearly unwell.

    I have seen hedgehogs in my tiny garden each summer but never before have I encountered an unwell one.

    I called a wildlife centre based in Woodbury and someone who was nearby kindly came and collected the poorly creature.

    I am delighted to learn that a week later she is doing well and that she is a feisty little character, regularly throwing around her bedding and food bowl!

    The owner of the wildlife centre told me this evening that the poisoning of my garden was “very likely to be an indirect factor” in her being ill.

    He said that the use of weedkiller can have the equivalent effect of pesticides by eroding habitat and disturbing the food web. Animals such as hedgehogs can only go without food for a few hours, not days.

    He added: “The use of pesticides destroys the foundations of the whole food web and ecosystems can suffer catastrophic local collapse in a very short period of time.”

    It is also important of course to put out fresh water daily at ground level for animals such as hedgehogs, especially during hot weather. Hedgehogs are on the wildlife watch list, with numbers plummeting by 50 per cent since the turn of the century.

    The loss of habitat, coupled with pesticide and herbicide use, as well as this hot weather means it’s really tough for wildlife right now and if we don’t want to be the generation that presides over the extinction of species such as hedgehogs, they must have our thought and care. Please do what you can for your garden wildlife to help them along during these difficult times.

    Finally, thank you so much for all the kind words and support that you have shown me over the poisoning of my garden. I am now planning some new pollinator enticing plants, and of course valerian. My garden is currently virtually devoid of pollinators, which is really sad.

    I am looking forward to welcoming my little hedgehog back to my (hopefully poison free) garden soon.

    Kind regards


    Claire Wright