hedgehogs

Utiliser les tondeuses robot sans risque pour les hérissons et les petits animaux du jardin

The safety of hedgehogs and other small animals is important to us. We have set ourselves the goal that our robotic mowers can be operated without accidents, emissions and noise. To ensure that we meet this requirement, we work closely with scientists in the development of our products. By following a few simple tips, you can help protect small animals.

How hedgehogs feel at home in your garden

Hedgehogs are welcome visitors to our gardens, because they keep them free of slugs, caterpillars and co. From the right shelter to the right protection of ponds and pools: As part of our initiative, we have compiled helpful tips together with Dr Sophie Lund Rasmussen on how you can make your garden wildlife-friendly.

  • During the low-nutrient period in autumn, you can set up water and food (cat food is a good option for hedgehogs). Pay attention to good hygiene around the feeding station.

  • Build nests for hedgehogs by creating a wild corner in your garden with garden litter, piles of leaves or tree trunks.

  • Build a hedgehog freeway using tunnels or paths between gardens off-road.

  • Provide biodiversity in your own garden in order to provide hedgehogs with natural sources of food (e.g. wild flower seeds, insect hotels).

  • Safe ponds and pools by providing an easy way out. Cover deep holes and drains as well

  • Don't use pesticides and chemicals in plant care.

  • Make sure that nets are stored securely and that there is no litter that could harm the animals.

  • Be careful when you try to light a fire and move the pile to a different location the day you burn it.

  • Be sure to carefully inspect all areas in the garden before gardening. The same goes for your compost heap before you start working in it with the digging fork.

  • When using a robotic lawnmower, make sure to use it during the day. A recent Oxford study on the potential impact of robotic mowers on hedgehogs identified three key technical safety features: pivoting blades, skid plates and the front wheel drive. All of these features are present in various combinations in the robotic mower models from Husqvarna Group and its brands.

leafs in Autumn are good for hedgehogs

A recent study from the University of Oxford on the danger of robotic lawn mowers to hedgehogs, highlights the vast differences in safety levels between robotic mowers. The robotic mowers from Husqvarna Group and its brands, which include GARDENA, performed well in the test, as they amongst other safety features are all equipped with lightweight (3 grams) pivoting blades. Husqvarna Group welcomes such scientific research on the topic as it makes an important contribution to the further development and sustainability of the products.

Go to study >

 

Protect Animal2x

Measure 1: Technical requirements of the SILENO robotic lawnmower

All robotic lawnmowers from GARDENA are equipped with pivoting blades and most have either skid plates and/or front wheel drive. These are features that decisively increase the safety of robotic mowers. In addition to the physical functions of the mowers, we also offer software solutions such as the animal protection function in the GARDENA smart App, which allows the mower to rest from dusk to dawn while hedgehogs are at their most active. In addition, the GARDENA cutting system does not start the blades in the charging station. The robotic lawnmower first moves away from this for a period of five seconds before it starts mowing, so that small animals that have sought shelter under the mower can run away.

a person is controlling their robotic lawn mower with the smartphone

Measure 2: It all starts with the design

Whether you use a traditional lawnmower or a robotic lawnmower, a shorter lawn means fewer safe spaces for hedgehogs, bees and butterflies. However, just because you have a robotic lawnmower, it doesn't necessarily mean you can't have a wildlife-friendly garden. With the right garden design, it's easy to create shelters for insects, hedgehogs and other animals: Try including hedges, shrubs and sections of wild flowers. The summer blooms in these wild areas are not just lovely to look at — the pollen and nectar attracts a whole host of insects that will help pollenate your garden, so you'll also have a great fruit harvest!

To separate these areas from your lawn, simply lay the wire for the robotic lawnmower in the desired location and sow a mix of wild-flower seeds in the area where you want them to grow. If you have the room for some larger wild areas, how about installing some beehives?

Here at GARDENA, we've enlisted the help of a local beekeeper and now keep honey bees at our headquarters — and there's no shortage of robotic lawnmowers in use there! We've reserved part of the garden to use as a wild flower meadow, and every year we produce around 600 kilos of the finest honey for our employees to enjoy.

As well as wild flowers, bees and butterflies are also drawn to herb gardens and ornamental gardens when they are in bloom. Their favourites include:

  • Rosemary

  • Thyme

  • Lavender

butterfly is landing on flower

Measure 3: Mow during the day

Here's another simple trick to help ensure small hedgehogs and your robotic lawnmower do not get in each other's way: Only mow your lawn during daylight hours, as hedgehogs are crepuscular and nocturnal animals. It is very rare to see them out in the open during the day. A robotic lawnmower that runs overnight may be a danger to them, whether they hear it or not. If they don't notice the robot, then they don't have chance to react. Even if they do hear the noise of the lawnmower, their response is no more helpful: Rather than attempt to escape, a hedgehog will roll up into a prickly ball — which in this case won't protect them from injury.

Expert tip: If you decide to only mow during the day, the operating time of your robotic lawnmower will reduce accordingly. So make sure that it has enough power to mow your entire lawn and keep it in good shape.