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.
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The hedgehog in...... Summer
By early summer, the breeding season is in full swing. A warm and damp
spring means lots of natural food but if the weather turns wet and cold,
or very hot and dry, bugs and insects will be scarce in early summer.
Hedgehogs will be under pressure to find enough food to sustain them
while they rear their litters and later on, newly weaned hoglets are
particularly vulnerable once they are independent of their mothers. Now,
more than ever, it is important to keep putting out food and water for
With the sort of unpredictable seasons we are now experiencing, it is
probably necessary to keep putting out food all year round and indeed,
this is now the advice being given by the RSPB regarding garden birds.
They share many food sources with hedgehogs and are equally vulnerable
in dry weather when they have young to feed.
During summer, we often have calls from people who have found what they
think are abandoned hoglets and are unsure what to do.
All members are issued with a copy of our Do’s and Don’ts information
postcard and we also have a comprehensive advice section on this
website. It is not always easy to know if baby animals are truly
abandoned or have just been parked temporarily while Mum forages for
food, so if you have read the advice and are still in any doubt as to
the best course of action, please call us straight away. We don't mind
false alarms if it means that babies are not taken away when Mum is
still looking after them, but likewise, if they are truly abandoned,
your call could save their lives!