Have you seen a hedgehog in North Wales?
If you have we want to hear about it!
Hedgehogs appear to be in decline. Many people can't remember when they last saw one, whilst many children have never had the privilege of seeing a hedgehog snuffling about their garden looking for a snack. Is the hedgehog now locally scarce? The problem is we just don't know, the total hedgehog population is unknown and we have no accurate way of calculating population sizes. You can help. We're trying to build up a picture of hedgehog distribution in North Wales by collating sightings from members of the public. If you've seen a hedgehog please spare a few minutes to fill in our online recording form.
Recording Hedgehogs Online
If you are not registered on the Cofnod website, please fill in a registration form (this should only take a couple of minutes).
If you are already registered, log in then follow the instructions below...
Please try to fill in as many parts of the form as possible as it will help us draw up a more complete picture of the factors affecting hedgehog distribution, it should only take between 5 and 10 minutes of your time. Don't worry if you're unsure of anything; as a minimum only the compulsory parts marked with must be completed.
- The hedgehog is an instantly recognisable species. An adult has up to 7000 spines and when in danger rolls itself into a ball and raises its spines.
- Hedgehogs live in a range of habitats however tend to avoid wetlands and uplands preferring the parks, gardens, woodland edges and hedges of the lowlands.
- Hedgehogs are insectivores. They're particularly keen on beetles and caterpillars but also eat earthworms, slugs, snails and anything else they can catch.
- Hedgehogs are solitary animals and the mother raises the young alone. From May until as late as September she will give birth to a litter of between 2 and 6 hoglets who stay with their mother until they're about 8 weeks old.
- Hedgehogs usually hibernate between November and March as their natural food source disappears in cold weather. They will however wake up periodically throughout the winter.
Top 10 Tips for Helping Hedgehogs
- Don't be too tidy
Leave wild areas in your garden and don't tidy up too much. This will provide hedgehogs with materials and secluded places to build their nests and a variety of invertebrates to eat.
- Create a log pile
A log pile provides hedgehogs with an excellent spot to hibernate and will shelter many other small animals and insects.
- Make a hedgehog home
Hedgehog homes are designed to provide hedgehogs with permanent, safe and cosy places to hibernate over winter. Make one yourself using British Hedgehog Preservation Society designs or buy a pre-made one- just remember to put it in a quiet spot away from cold winter winds.
- Leave food out for visiting hedgehogs
Supplement a hedgehogs natural diet by leaving out some food and water in your garden, particularly in the Autumn when the animals are trying to fatten up ready for hibernation. Meat based pet food or dried hedgehog or cat biscuits are good.
- Make garden ponds hedgehog friendly
Although hedgehogs can swim they often drown when they're unable to climb out of garden ponds. Ensure ponds have gently sloping sides and shallow areas around the edges.
- Be careful when mowing or strimming long grass
Hedgehogs may use long grass as a place to shelter and nest. Be careful when clearing and check for hedgehogs.
- Avoid using slug pellets
Hedgehogs may eat poisoned slugs and this can be very dangerous. Try to avoid using slug pellets and other garden chemicals where possible.
- Check bonfires for hedgehogs before lighting
If you've accumulated material for a bonfire re-site it prior to lighting to give hedgehogs the chance to wake up and move away to a new nest site.
- Dispose of litter responsibly
All forms of litter pose a threat to an inquisitive hedgehog who may decide to investigate and get stuck in tins, plastic cups, plastic can rings etc. Put all rubbish in the bin.
- Drive carefully at night
A hedgehog's defence mechanism is to curl into a ball- not very effective in the path of a speeding car. Drive slowly at night and keep an eye out for hedgehogs and other wildlife crossing the road.
Mammal Society Hedgehog Factsheet
British Hedgehog Preservation Society
Llên NaturHedgehog Street People's Trust for Endangered Species