Summer is here and as many of us set about gardening in anticipation of parties and barbecues, spare a thought for the humble hedgehog.
It is breeding season and until autumn hedgehogs are on the look-out for a safe haven to raise their offspring.
But with the rise of garden make-overs, hedgehogs are finding it increasingly difficult to find natural nesting sites.
A major water company is now giving advice on how you can turn a section of your garden into a breeding ground fit for a hedgehog and, in turn, reward yourself with your very own pest controller because hedgehogs like to eat slugs and snails.
Colin Green, Severn Trent Water's environmental advisor, said: " Hedgehogs will be on the look-out for a suitable, safe haven to have their babies from now until late summer.
"The mother will build her nest and her babies will be born about four to five weeks later."
Mr Green added: "With just a little thought you can turn a small piece of your garden into a natural, nursery area for hedgehogs or if you're good at DIY you can always build a small home and fill it with dry leaves or hay. For instance, if you have a garden shed you could leave an area undisturbed either to the side or behind it and fill it with hay or leaves. This would make a safe and secure home."
Severn Trent Water has put together a fact sheet on the hedgehog, which shows you how to make your garden hedgehog friendly. A fact sheet can be downloaded from www.stwater. co.uk/habitats