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.
- Up to 30cm
- Up to 1.2kg