Where do Hedgehogs live and what to they eat?

Hedgehogs are our only spiny mammal, they can grow to a length of between 15cm and 32cm including the tail. They can weigh up to 2kg and are at their heaviest during the autumn, when they put on fat to survive the winter hibernation. Hedgehogs can live up to 10 years in the wild, but most only survive 2 or 3 winters.

Hedgehogs are the only spiny mammal in Britain and they are a great gardener's friend. They can travel up to 2km a night, climbing fences and swimming across ponds to get to neighboring gardens. They eat slugs, caterpillars, beetles, worms, and almost anything they can catch, but little plant material.

They are common in parks, gardens and farmland areas, but prefer areas of hedgerow and woodland edges. Hedgehogs also settle in suburban habitats where food is plentiful. If you want to feed hedgehogs, do not give them bread and milk as this causes diarrhoea. It is much better to give them a bowl of water and some cat or dog food, but they don't like fishy favours.

Hedgehog fleas are not passed on to animals with fur, as they like to run around the open spaces between the spines. If transferred to a cat or dog, the flea will drop off and wait for another Hedgehog to come along.



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