Hedgehogs need our help

With up to a third of hedgehogs having disappeared over the last ten years, the future of this iconic animal is far from certain.

The threats to these much-loved mammals include habitat loss, pesticide use and road deaths.

As a result of their declining population, hedgehogs are listed as a priority species under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.

Fortunately, there are things that all of us can do to help numbers recover.






One third of our
hedgehogs have
disappeared in
just ten years…

How to help hedgehogs

If you have found a sick or injured hedgehog, please click here for advice on what to do.

Feeding hedgehogs

Whilst supplementary feeding isn’t always advised, it can make a big difference to a hedgehog during a particularly cold or dry spell. A shallow dish of water and a wet meat-based dog or cat food is the best thing to supply. Please don’t put out bread and milk – bread is very low in energy and hard to digest and hedgehogs are lactose intolerant.

Take care on the roads at night

Thousands of hedgehogs die on our roads every year. Most active at night, they are often attracted to the heat of the road and may need to cross several on their night time foray for food. Whilst curling into a ball is an effective technique against predators, it doesn’t work against cars, so keeping a watchful eye out when driving at night will help to avoid further fatalities.

Make your garden hedgehog friendly

Hedgehogs thrive in gardens and suburban habitats and they can travel up to 2 kilometres a night, but they can’t visit your garden if you don’t let them in. If you have a fence around your property, you can make your garden more accessible by making a hedgehog hole.

Build a hedgehog home

Hedgehogs hibernate from around October to March. Whilst many will bed down in piles of leaves or branches, these can be hard to find, especially in urban environments. You could provide your local hedgehogs with a safe hibernation spot by building them a hedgehog home.

Avoid chemicals and slug pellets

Hedgehogs have a varied diet, feeding on slugs, snails, worms, caterpillars and various insects. Pesticides and slug pellets are often used to tackle some of these garden pests. This not only reduces the food available to hedgehogs, but can also seriously effect a hedgehog’s health and ability to breed, so avoid using these in your garden.

Join the Scottish Wildlife Trust

Becoming a member of the Trust means that you’ll be helping to support the work we do to conserve hedgehogs and a whole host of other iconic Scottish species. You’ll also gain free entry to our visitor centres, be sent our wildlife magazine and receive invitations and discounts to events across the country.

UK hedgehog population estimates

1950: 30 million
1995: 1.55 million
2010: less than 1 million

What is the Scottish Wildlife Trust doing to help hedgehogs?

We manage our network of 120 wildlife reserves in a way that allows wildlife of all kinds to thrive.

Our urban reserves in particular provide a haven for hedgehogs. These protected pockets of nature within the urban environment provide a safe refuge and a plentiful food supply for many small mammals.

We also encourage the general public to help hedgehogs through our education and outreach work, and provide advice on the practical ways to do this.


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