Hedgehog

  • Scientific name: Erinaceus europaeus
  • Type: Mammals

Key information

Hedgehogs have a rather rounded body covered in short, dark, yellow-tipped spines, and a short tail. The face and undersides are covered in coarse hair. They are widespread throughout mainland Britain.

In the summer they spend most of the day sheltering in a nest of leaves, moss and grass. They come out at night and can be heard snuffling and grunting as they forage for food. In the autumn they find a sheltered spot, often under a hedgerow, to hibernate.

Although their eyesight is poor, they have good hearing and a well-developed sense of smell. Hedgehogs are good runners, proficient climbers and can even swim.

If attacked they roll into a tight ball so only their spines are exposed. Many hedgehogs are killed unintentionally by humans: on the road, with lawnmowers, strimmers and garden chemicals, and in bonfires.

What they eat:

Slugs, snails, beetles and earthworms, birds' eggs, nestlings and carrion.

Measurements:

Length:
Up to 30cm
Weight:
Up to 1.2kg

Identifying features:

Natural habitats: Flower border Hedge Herb garden Lawn/grassy area Meadow area Patio Pond Shrub Woodland area

Where and when to see them

Throughout the garden foraging for food. They will also come onto patios and to the backdoor if food is put out. Also in parks, scrubby areas, hedgerows and woods.

You can see them at night from April to October.

  • jan
  • feb
  • mar
  • apr
  • may
  • jun
  • jul
  • aug
  • sep
  • oct
  • nov
  • dec