How to build a hedgehog feeding station

30 September 2018 | Posted in Wildlife Garden , Charlotte Owen
How to build a hedgehog feeding station
Feeding station © Gillian Day

By Charlotte Owen

WildCall Officer

Have you ever put out a delicious meal intended for your local hedgehogs, only for it to be gobbled up by the neighbourhood cats or foxes?  The easiest way to solve this problem is to create a simple feeding station, which aims to let little hedgehogs in and keep larger animals out.

  • You will need a sturdy box, either plastic or wooden, with a removable lid. 
  • Cut a small entrance hole (13 cm x 13 cm) in one side
  • Cover any sharp edges with tape so that the doorway is safe for hedgehogs to pass through
  • Line the box with some newspaper
  • Choose a quiet, secluded spot in the garden to position your café
  • Wait until evening falls, then add a shallow dish of suitable food to the box, replace the lid and weigh it down with a heavy brick
  • Put out a shallow dish of water too, either inside the café or nearby 

What should I feed my hedgehogs? The best options are meaty cat or dog food, either tinned or dry, or a commercial hedgehog food. 

What foods should I avoid? Never feed bread or milk as these will cause an upset stomach. Hedgehogs go mad for mealworms but these should be fed in strict moderation, if at all – they are the hedgehog equivalent of biscuits and crisps, so not great nutritionally and they are very high in phosphorous, which can lead to serious health issues.

When should I stop feeding? Hedgehogs need to fatten up ready for winter and it’s fine to keep feeding them right up until they hibernate – the exact date will vary depending on the weather but you’ll notice their visits start to drop off as it gets colder. 

Help protect our hedgehogs by becoming a Sussex Wildlife Trust member


  • jackie mather:

    14 Apr 2020 21:34:00

    How can we keep rats out of the feeding station?

  • 20 Nov 2020 13:44:00

    Hi – thanks for this article. I wanted to check it is ok to share it? We have a community group here in Cornwall working to manage our village churchyard for wildlife and i’ve added this advice to our website with a link to your page – i’ve also credited the photo. Let me know if there’s a problem. Thanks, Karen.

    That's fine Karen, thank you. Emma
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