Round, brown and covered in spines, the hedgehog is the UK’s most familiar wild animal. They can be spotted in parks and gardens where bushes provide the perfect daytime getaway! They love long grass full of insects to feast on once the sun has set. Hedgehogs hibernate over winter from around November to April, usually choosing to nest in piles of leaves or logs called a 'hibernaculum'. They are nocturnal animals and have a great sense of smell, which they use to find their way around and food.
Hedgehogs eat all kinds of invertebrates, as well as amphibians, birds' eggs and anything else they can catch; they particularly like big, crunchy beetles, earthworms and slugs, making them a gardener's best friend.
How to identify
A unique and unmistakeable animal, the hedgehog is small, brown and round, with yellow-tipped spines over its back, and a fur-covered face. Mostly nocturnal, you may see or hear one snuffling around the garden. Or look out for the signs of hedgehogs, such as medium-sized, black droppings full of insect bits on the lawn. When it thinks it is in danger it rolls into a ball, making it's spines came up, so any predator might leave it alone
Where to find them
Widespread, found throughout the country in a variety of habitats.
Hedgehogs need help
Sadly, hedgehog numbers are in decline, due to various reasons. There are lots of things you can do to help them. If you have a garden you can make an opening in or under your fence about 13 x 13 cm, so the hedgehogs can visit other gardens, the more gardens are connected this way the bigger the range the hedgehog can cover at night, making it possible for them to meet other hedgehogs as well. You can leave water out or some meat based dry dog or cat food, they can have a nibble on. Some people even go as far as making them a hedgehog house.
If you see a hedgehog you can report their sighting at: https://www.hedgehogstreet.org