The hedgehog is the most easily recognised of British mammals yet they are steadily disappearing from the wild. 

Overview

HedgehogDistribution: widespread, from Britain and rest of Europe, except the far north, across to Russia. Absent from most Scottish islands. Introduced to New Zealand.

Habitat: mainly woodland habitats, hedgerows, fields, parks, town and country gardens.

Description: distinctive spiny coat; long, coarse hair on face and underparts.

Size: length:- 20 - 30 cm.

Weight:- average 700g.

Life-span: can live up to 6 years.

Food: slugs, snails, caterpillars, beetles, earthworms, birds' eggs; sometimes frogs, snakes and carrion.

The hedgehog is the most easily recognised of British mammals yet they are steadily disappearing from the wild. As its name suggests it spends the day sleeping in hedgerows or under shrubs. Old names for it have been 'urchin' and 'hedgepig' and it has been the subject of some strange folk tales. One was that hedgehogs picked up fruit on their spines and another that they sucked milk from cows - both unlikely!

Read More: Hedgehog Habits

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