If a hedgehog, or other small mammal or bird falls into the pit beneath a cattle or sheep-grid, the near-vertical walls beneath the grid are too steep for the animal to climb out. The result could be a horrible and long drawn out death by dehydration and/or starvation.
An escape ramp for hedgehogs and other small animals is nothing elaborate. Escape ramps for small animals should be provided in at least one but preferably two corners of the pit (preferably “outer” corners i.e. corners to which the cattle/sheep do not have access). Ramps (150 – 200 mm wide) can be made of concrete, wood or metal, should not have a smooth surface and should have a slope not exceeding 1 in 2. The pit should be adequately drained. If it is impossible for an animal to gain access to the whole of the pit i.e. if it is sectionalised, more ramps would be required.
For further details refer to British Standards Institution (2006)
BS 4008:2006 Specification for cattle grids. London: BSI.
Please publicise the installation of these escape ramps, as this will assist the acceptance of such schemes nationwide. Their cost, of course, is negligible.