Hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus)

What can I tell you about the hedgehog that you will not already know? One of our best known and most loved of animals, most of us will have been familiar with the hedgehog from our earliest days. When I was young Rag, Tag and Bobtail were 'big' on children's TV , Rag was the hedgehog!

Nowhere near as common as they once were I rarely see one these days. Quite often we see their 'calling card' on the lawn but that is about it.

They were also once frequently seen squashed on the road but that does not seem so frequent these days either.

One of only two true hibernating mammals in the UK (the other is the dormouse) they emerge from their deep sleep in early spring and are desperate for food. Normally nocturnal, when they first wake up they can be seen by day, just like this one, rummaging around for something to eat, especially after rain.

The gardeners friend, they consume vast numbers of slugs and snails as part of a varied diet.

Find out more about the hedgehog here: www.natureofdorset.co.uk/species/hedgehog

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