Hedgehogs are some of our most loved garden visitors although we may not get to see them as often as we’d like! Here’s 8 facts about hedgehogs that you may not know.
Fact #1 Always on the nightshift!
The first fact you should know about hedgehogs is that they are nocturnal. They could be considered the teenagers of the wildlife world as this means that they sleep all day and are only active at night! There are lots of other animals that are nocturnal, so this may not seem that interesting, however it is a good fact to remember as hedgehogs that are out in the day aren’t supposed to be and may be in trouble. You can find out more about what to do if you find a hedgehog out during the day or injured, here.
Fact #2 Spikey but sweet!
Hedgehogs can have between 5000 - 7000 individual spikes / spines. It is commonly thought that hedgehogs use their spikes to injure predators, but hedgehogs when threatened or feeling vulnerable will curl up into a ball to protect their small bodies rather than attack. It is their own personal polite warning that they’re best not to be messed with!
Fact #3 Should’ve gone to Specsavers!
Hedgehogs do not have very good eyesight which is why
their long snouts come in very useful to help them sniff out and hunt down food.
You’ll notice if you are lucky enough to have them visit your garden that their
little snouts are constantly wiggling, always on the ‘look’ out for their next
Fact #4 Noisy neighbours!
The ‘hog’ part of their name
is very accurate, as hedgehogs can be quite noisy! Snuffling, snorting and grunting
are just some of the noises a hedgehog will make whilst eating or simply going
about their business! Just listen to these noisy neighbours below!
Fact #5 A helping hand!
Hedgehogs are known as
‘the gardener’s friend’ simply for their love of eating insects. Worms and
slugs are just some of the delicacies that a hedgehog enjoys that makes them
fan favourites of gardeners wishing to protect their garden flora.
Fact #6 Weary travellers!
A hedgehog can travel up
to 2km per night in pursuit of a decent snack and shelter, which is a long way
for a little hog. Leaving out fresh water and meaty dog food / dry cat biscuits
will really help your visiting hogs.
Fact #7 Watch where you mow!
Hedgehogs get their
first name from where they were historically often found – in hedgerows. But as
many hedgerows in our gardens have disappeared in favour of fences, hedgehogs
can find themselves hiding in long grasses and shrubbery meaning it’s important
to check these kind of areas in your garden before deciding to mow!
Fact #8 They need your help…
As of July 2020, hedgehogs are on the Red List for British Mammals and are vulnerable to extinction. You can help hedgehogs by creating a hedgehog friendly garden and if you happen to see one out in the daytime, make sure to get it to a rescue.