Hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus)

Hedgehog © Tom Marshall


The Hedgehog is one of Britain’s most familiar wild mammals. Hedgehogs have a short tail, long legs and small ears; they tend to be brown in colour with dark eyes. The Hedgehog is a nocturnal animal and travels up to two kilometres in search of food. Hedgehogs are good swimmers and can run fairly quickly.  Hedgehogs hibernate in the winter in a nest made from leaves typically under sheds or log piles. They emerge from hibernation around Easter time when breeding occurs- between April and September.


Hedgehogs have a very broad diet and consist of berries, invertebrates, frogs, eggs, and even adder’s as they have a variable resistance to adder venom.

How to track/identify?

Hedgehogs are usually present in most rural gardens throughout the night; you can here then ruffling through bushes and under hedges.

Did you know?

  • Hedgehogs have around 5000 spines which last for around a year then get replaced.
  • They are named Hedgehogs due to its habit of moving through hedges and making a pig-like grunt.
  • Females give birth to four or five young per litter.

Reserves where they are present

Found throughout Wiltshire although their numbers are in decline.

Others in the Mammal Family

American MinkBank VoleBadger, Brown Hare, Grey SquirrelHazel DormouseHouse MouseOtterRabbitRed FoxWeaselWild Boar

Print out a copy of the Hedgehog Fact Sheet