Small, round, brown and famously covered in spines, the hedgehog is one of the most familiar of Britain’s wild mammals. A unique and unmistakeable animal. Look out for the signs of hedgehogs: medium-sized, black droppings consisting of bits of beetles and other insects, often found on the lawn.
They are most commonly spotted in parks and gardens, where bushes and hedges provide the perfect day-time getaway, and insect-rich lawns and flowerbeds make excellent feeding grounds at dusk. 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.
Weight: up to 2kg
Average lifespan: 2-3 years
Classified as a Priority Species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.
Widespread, found throughout the country except for the Channel Islands and some Scottish Islands.
When to see
April – October
- Hedgehogs are known for their ability to roll themselves into a ball of spines when threatened. These spines are actually modified hairs and an adult hedgehog has around 5,000-7,000 of them, which can be raised using powerful muscles along their back.
- Hedgehogs have been known to cover up to 2 miles in a single night, usually by travelling beneath hedges or fences