Top 10 Hedgehog Facts
1. Their name is very fitting
Hedgehogs build their nests in hedges, bushes and shrubs, and they make quiet snorting sounds like a pig - hence the name 'hedge-hog'.
2. Hedgehogs are nocturnal
They sleep throughout the day and come out at night.
3. Hedgehogs are lactose intolerant
Therefore, you should NEVER leave milk out for them. Leave water out for them instead.
4. Hedgehogs live for...
Up to 7 years of age in the wild, with the average being around 4 years.
5. Their spikes renew each year
Hedgehogs have up to 7,000 spikes on their back which can be raised when threatened. Each spike lasts for about a year before dropping out, with a new one taking its place.
6. There are 15 species of hedgehog in the world
But the UK only has one native species - 'Erinaceus europaeus', the European Hedgehog.
7. Hedgehogs like being alone
Hedgehogs are solitary animals and are very independent, heading out on their own at around 4-8 weeks of age and usually only coming together with other hedgehogs to mate. Although it is unusual to see multiple hedgehogs together in one place, the term to use if you do see a group of them is an 'array'.
8. Hibernation patterns
Hedgehogs hibernate when the weather becomes colder which can be during November, December or January, and typically lasts until March or April time. They can wake up frequently during hibernation due to any increases or decreases in temperature, to stop crystal forming in their blood. If a hedgehog becomes too cold, you may see them out and about building another nest (as they will not bother to improve the previous one).
9. Hedgehogs help preserve fruit and vegetables growing in your garden
They eat beetles and caterpillars as part of their diet, which can help your produce to last longer.
10. Hedgehogs can travel for up to 2 miles at night
They can travel very far at night when foraging for food. It's surprising how far hedgehogs can travel!