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HedgehogHedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) Living in woodland and farmland, the Hedgehog is the only British mammal with spines. Adult hedgehogs have 5000 to 7000 prickly spines each, everywhere except on their tail, head, legs and bellies. Curling into a tight ball and tucking in their tail, head and legs they can protect the parts of their bodies that do not have spines when threatened.


When baby hedgehogs, known as hoglets, are first born they have soft spines under the skin to protect mum and within days a second set of spines emerge. Hedgehogs are one of the most instanty recognisable native animals. They have fairly short tails, long legs, small ears, poor eyesight but a good sense of hearing.

Hedgehogs hibernate during the winter, rolling up in a ball of dry leaves and during this time their heart rate drops from 190 beats per minute to 20 beats. They do wake up on warm days to drink water and eat. You must be careful not to disturb possible hedgehog beds in the winter.