The Awful Dangers Hedgehogs Face – and How to Help Them Survive in 2023


Would you prefer to listen to a short podcast discussion about this article? Click on the audio below.

Hedgehogs are one of the most loved creatures in the United Kingdom, yet they are in danger. These small creatures are vulnerable to environmental changes, and their numbers have declined over the past few decades.

One of the biggest threats to hedgehogs is habitat loss. As urban areas expand and more land is developed, the natural habitats of these creatures are destroyed. This makes it difficult for them to find food and shelter, increasing their risk of being hit by cars. Another threat is the use of pesticides and other chemicals in gardens and farms. These can poison hedgehogs and their prey and reduce the availability of insects and other food sources.

By creating hedgehog-friendly gardens, avoiding the use of chemicals, and supporting conservation efforts, we can help ensure that these beloved creatures continue to thrive in the wild.

How to Help Protect Hedgehogs

If we want to help protect them in the wild, there are several things we can do.

The first step in protecting hedgehogs is to provide them with a safe habitat. Many hedgehogs suffer injuries when they become trapped in gates, fences, and other garden structures. We can help by creating a hedgehog-friendly garden, which means cutting small holes in fences or walls to allow hedgehogs to pass freely and creating a hedgehog house or shelter that provides them with a warm and secure place to sleep.

Avoid Pesticides

Secondly, it’s crucial to keep harmful substances away from hedgehogs, such as pesticides and slug pellets. Another way to support hedgehogs is by avoiding using lawnmowers and strimmers, if at all possible, during the breeding season, which is from April to September. This will prevent the accidental injury or death of young hedgehogs that may be hiding in the grass.

Additionally, leaving a pile of leaves or twigs in a quiet corner of the garden can provide hedgehogs with a safe place to hibernate during winter. By taking these very simple steps, we can help ensure the survival of these beloved garden creatures. These toxic chemicals can poison hedgehogs and the insects and snails they eat for food. Using natural methods to control pests is beneficial for both hedgehogs and the environment.

Provide Food

Thirdly, we can help hedgehogs survive by providing them with a regular source of food and water. Hedgehogs are nocturnal, and they enjoy eating slugs, snails, and insects, as well as cat or dog food. Therefore, we can create a feeding area in our gardens for hedgehogs where they can find food in the evening.


Reduce Hazards

Fourthly, we can work to reduce the number of hazards that hedgehogs face in their daily lives. For example, avoiding littering, cleaning up any rubbish in the garden, and avoiding using strimmers around long grass can help protect these creatures from harm.

Finally, we can join forces with local conservation groups and volunteers to raise awareness of hedgehogs and the dangers facing them. Through simple acts like spreading the word about hog-friendly living and donating to local charities, we can help raise awareness of the need to protect these amazing animals.



Hedgehogs are among the most beloved animals in the UK, but unfortunately, their population has declined in recent years. One of the foremost reasons for this decline is habitat loss. As cities and towns continue to expand, hedgehogs are losing their natural habitats and struggling to find food and shelter. However, there are many ways that we can help hedgehogs, such as creating hedgehog-friendly gardens, leaving out food and water, and avoiding the use of pesticides and chemicals. By taking these simple steps, we can make a big difference in hedgehogs’ lives and help ensure their survival for years to come.

In conclusion, helping and protecting hedgehogs in the wild is important to preserving the UK’s wildlife. By making small and seemingly insignificant changes in our lives, we can create a safe environment for hedgehogs and ensure that future generations of people and animals will be able to enjoy these fantastic creatures. With our help, hedgehogs can continue to thrive and bring joy to the world around us.

PS For more information, check out the British Hedgehog Preservation Society.

How many hedgehogs exist in the wild in the UK?

According to recent estimates, the hedgehog population in England, Scotland, and Wales is approximately 879,000, with about 25% living in urban areas. However, wildlife statisticians have also estimated that the hedgehog population in the UK during the 1950s was around 36.5 million.

What is the history of hedgehogs in the UK?

The European hedgehog is the UK’s only spiny mammal, and they have been around for over 15 million years. Hedgehogs are native to the UK and were once widespread across the country. However, their habitat has been threatened over the past few decades, and their numbers are now in dramatic decline. The reasons for this include habitat loss, pesticides, and other factors.

What main threats do hedgehogs face in the UK?

Hedgehogs face several threats in the UK, including habitat loss due to development and urbanization, pesticide use, road traffic, and agricultural intensification. These factors can reduce the availability of suitable food and nesting sites, increase the risk of accidental injury, and expose them to harmful chemicals. Hedgehogs also have natural predators, such as badgers, foxes, and birds of prey, which can have an impact on their population numbers.

What are some conservation efforts aimed at protecting hedgehogs in the UK?

Several conservation efforts are aimed at protecting hedgehogs in the UK. These include initiatives to increase awareness of the species, such as Hedgehog Street and Hedgehog Friendly Campus, which aim to engage people in creating habitats and reducing risks. Various wildlife charities, such as the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, provide advice and guidance on how to support hedgehogs in the wild. Additionally, some local authorities and organizations are taking steps to improve hedgehog habitats, such as creating hedgehog-friendly gardens and installing hedgehog highways to allow them to move more freely through urban areas.

Are there any legal protections in place for hedgehogs in the UK?

Currently, hedgehogs do not have any specific legal protections in the UK, as they are not listed as a priority species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act. However, they are protected from mistreatment and abuse under the Animal Welfare Act, which makes it an offence to intentionally harm or cause unnecessary suffering to any animal, including hedgehogs. Efforts are being made by some organizations to petition the government to give hedgehogs additional legal protection.

How many babies do hedgehogs have?

Hedgehogs typically have litters of between 4 and 5 babies, although in rare instances, they may have up to 7 or 8. The babies, known as hoglets, are born blind, hairless, and weigh just a few grams. They are completely dependent on their mother for the first few weeks of life and will start to explore their surroundings and feed independently at around 3 to 4 weeks old.

How can individuals contribute to protecting hedgehogs in their local communities?

There are various ways individuals can contribute to protecting hedgehogs in their local communities, including:
1. Creating a hedgehog-friendly garden by providing suitable habitats like log piles, wild areas, and hedgehog houses.
2. Avoid the use of pesticides and slug pellets, which can harm hedgehogs and other wildlife.
3. Check areas thoroughly for hedgehogs before gardening, tree-felling or other activities that could disturb or harm them.
4. Supporting local wildlife charities and conservation organizations that work to protect hedgehogs and their habitats.
5. Educating others in the community about the importance of hedgehogs and how to support them.

Need help with this article? Contact Us, and we will be happy to assist you.

Leave a comment



Cage & Aviary




Newsletter Subscribe

Join the Community: Subscribe to Our Newsletter for Exclusive Pet Care Tips and Updates

This special website is dedicated to providing a comprehensive range of information and resources for all types of domesticated animals, from dogs and cats to birds and fish, and everything in between.

© 2023 UK Pets - All rights reserved