Hedgehog Awareness Week runs from 1 – 7 May this year and it aims to raise the profile of Britain’s only spiny mammal. Here are some interesting facts about these wonderful creatures:
- Hedgehogs are one of only three mammals in the UK that hibernate.
- They are nocturnal…the elusive hedgehog only comes out at night!
- Hedgehogs are lactose intolerant! Contrary to popular belief, milk should never be left out for them.
- There are 15 species of hedgehog in the world! Although we have just the one in the UK – the European hedgehog.
- It’s thought hedgehogs have between 5,000 – 7,000 spikes! Each one lasts a year before falling out and being replaced.
- A group of hedgehogs is called an array! Although it’s very rare to see more than one as they are solitary creatures.
In 2020, were put on the IUCN Red List as vulnerable to extinction in Great Britain. The latest State of Britain’s hedgehogs report shows that while hedgehogs in Britain have undergone a long historic decline, in urban areas the picture is of a stable population that might be showing signs of recovery.
However, there’s lots we can continue to do to help out our hedgehogs and keep their numbers growing, as suggested by British Hedgehog Preservation Society. Perhaps you could turn your garden into a hedgehog haven by trying out some of the Society’s tips such as:
- Creating a hedgehog highway. Hedgehogs can travel up to 2 miles as they forage for food. By creating a 5” x 5” (13 x 13cm) square gap in the bottom of fences or walls, this can help them on their journey!
- A log pile in your garden can offer a hedgehog shelter and food.
- Checking carefully before mowing or strimming.
- Ensuring there is an easy route out of ponds.
Woking Environment Action is hosting a hedgehog event at 10am – 12 noon on Saturday 7 May 2022 in Mercia Walk in Woking Town Centre. At this family friendly stall you’ll be able to learn more about hedgehogs, the group’s new reporting project and take part in a number of fun crafts based around the prickly little creatures.
At 6pm on Thursday 26 May 2022, Woking Environment Action will also host a fascinating hedgehog inspired talk by Hugh Warwick entitled Why Did the Hedgehog Cross the Road? at the WWF Living Planet Centre, Brewery Road, Woking, GU21 4LL. A writer and ecologist, Hugh will present an illustrated exploration of the wonderful world of the hedgehog – examining the threats it faces and the ways we can help. Book your free tickets here.
We love seeing your photos of local wildlife and your efforts to give it that helping hand. If you’re lucky enough to photograph a hedgehog or perhaps you’ve created a hedgehog haven in your garden, drop us a line at email@example.com
Keen to find out more? Check out these resources: