A Prickly Affair – 10 Hedgehog Facts

 
Today Little Pea and I went to A Prickly Affair a talk about Hedgehogs by the Hedgehog Helpline at Cwmcarn Forest Drive. We learnt about the different body parts of a Hedgehog and their importance, what food they like to eat and what we can do to help these creatures.  So here are 10 interesting facts about Hedgehogs…

1. In the last 40 years Hedgehog numbers have gone reduced drastically from around 30 million to below 4 million (it is very difficult to accurately count them) and most people in the U.K. have never seen a live one. When I was growing up every year we would see a family of Hedgehogs trundling about the garden, now I can’t remember the last time I saw one that wasn’t squished on the road 😢

2. You mustn’t feed them bread and milk!! This is actually bad for them and can kill them so it’s bed to give them wet cat/dog food or dry cat food.

                                          
3. They hibernate because in winter their food of beetles, slugs, worms and snails is scarce in cold weather but when they do hibernate it can be for a few weeks or for months.

4. Baby Hedgehogs are called Hoglets (how cute) and there are usually 4 or 5 in a litter.

5. Hedgehogs have tails! Take a look….

                                            

6. When they hibernate they aren’t actually asleep, their body temperature drops to match the surroundings

7. They can walk around 2km in one night as long as they can get from garden to garden in more urban areas.

8. Decline in Hedgehog numbers are due to lots of factors – pesticides, hedgerow management, over tidy gardens, reduced garden areas and busy roads are a few reasons.

                                                                                                                                   

9. Fleas on Hedgehogs can’t survive on other animals like dogs and cats.

10. Hedgehogs are good swimmers as long as they can get in and out of water.

You can help hedgehogs by 

  • Make a section of garden that is overgrown or a log or leaf pile these are perfect for insects and for nesting or get a hedgehog house! 
  • Create Hedgehog Highways, gaps in fences or walls that they can get through to your neighbours garden.
  • Make sure ponds have sloping sides so they can get out if they fall in.
  • Don’t use as many pesticides, encourage Hedgehogs and they will eat the bugs, caterpillars and slugs.

                                                  
If you want to learn more about these amazing animals and how you can help them thrive visit any of these sites

Running now until October 31st 2017 is the UK’s first Hedgehog Housing Census, if you have a hedgehog house you can find out more by visiting Hedgehog Street

Dottie

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