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17 September 2014
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Urban Activities - Hedgehog hunt


Wildlife is increasingly finding its way into our towns and cities. Keep your eyes peeled and you may be surprised. Read our top tips on finding urban wildlife of a prickly variety!


Hedgehogs - autumn is a good time to see them before hibernation

HedgehogExpect the unexpected on your doorstep!

Many cities are good places for a twilight safari on the trail of one of our most secretive but common creatures - the Hedgehog.

Even late in the autumn, there may be a few of these prickly animals still around.

Hedgehog hunt - top tips

* It's hard to miss the Hedgehog once you've spotted one - it is the only spiny British mammal. The average adult Hedgehog has around 5,000-7,000 spines which are hollow hairs made stiff with keratin.

* Good habitats for Hedgehog hunting include parks, gardens and farmland across Britain. This small mammal prefers woodland edges, hedgerows and suburban habitats where there is a wealth of food.

* Certain habitats are not favoured by Hedgehogs including intensively farmed arable land, moorlands and conifer forests.

* Listen for Hedgehogs - sometimes they can be heard snuffling and grunting.

* Hedgehogs can often be most active at night after heavy rainfall.

* Hibernation starts around November but it is common for Hedgehogs to wake up several times over the winter.

* Be careful not to disturb a Hedgehog in its natural habitat. Hedgehogs may not be trapped without a licence.

* If you want to feed wild Hedgehogs in your garden, the Mammal Society recommends giving them water. Alternatively feed them with pet foods.

* Bear in mind that gardens can be hazardous for Hedgehogs e.g. if you have a pond or sharp garden equipment. These mammals sometimes hibernate under garden bonfire heaps so check for their presence.

* Why not adopt a Hedgehog? Create a wild corner in your garden with bushes, leaves and twigs on the ground to encourage the animals to nest safely.

Find out more about Hedgehogs from the Mammal Society



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