Hedgehogs have always been a much-loved feature of the British countryside and are known as the gardener's friend due to their appetite for slugs and snails and other garden pests. However, hedgehogs are in need of help and are now even classed as an endangered species in Britain.
Road casualties and loss of habitat are the main causes of a decline in the U.K. hedgehog population. Changes in farming and land management have led to fewer places for hedgehogs to live and forage in the countryside and this, added to a loss of gardens to forage in as people turn them into car parking spaces or decking-covered patios plus the carving up of territory by new roads and bye-passes all mean less room for our spiny friends.
We are a not-for profit organisation and rely entirely on donations from the public and sales of our merchandise at events around the county to continue our work.Click here to see our full list of events.
The hedgehog in...... Autumn
The breeding season is almost at an end but very often in autumn, there will be hoglets from late litters that will be struggling to put on fat and get up to hibernation weight before the days shorten. The minimum weight for hibernation is 450g but the chances of surviving hibernation are greatly increased at higher weights and we have found 600g seems to be the optimum weight for survival.
From September onwards, please weigh any hog you see that is out in the evening. If it is less than 600g then it needs to be admitted to the hospital to gain weight. If in doubt, weight it! Likewise, if you see a hog out by day, regardless of its size, there is a problem so please call us.
Other things to be aware of this season...
Keep feeding hogs well into autumn. Dried mealworms, dry cat biscuits and wet (tinned) cat or dog food are all ideal. Don't forget to keep a constant supply of clean, fresh water available.
Leave a corner of the garden a little bit wild with long, dried grass, leaves, logs and bits of twigs so hogs can either hibernate there or take materials to make a nest in a suitable site.
Check all bonfire heaps for sleeping hogs before lighting them, and if your village has a Bonfire Night celebration PLEASE ask them to do the same. Ideally, make a pile of all fire material and then build it on the day so as to avoid any wildlife (not just hogs) taking up residence in the meantime.