Reggie's Facts.

Common Name: European Hedgehog
Residence: Western and northern Europe
Scientific Name: Erinaceus europaeus
Life Span: Up to 5 years
Body length: 20 - 30 cm

1 - 2.0 kg

Physical Description:

The hedgehog is an easy animal to identify. It is covered in a thick coat of up to 6000 yellow tipped spines. Hedgehogs are Britain's only spiny mammal. They have a short tail and their underside is covered in coarse brown fur. Male and female hedgehogs look very similar. Hedgehog babies are called hoglets. New born hoglets are blind and deaf and each one only weights about 9 grams.

How Many:

There about 1.5 million hedgehogs living in Britain. If you have some in your garden you are very lucky. Look after them!

Getting about:

Most of the time a hedgehog shuffles around with it's nose to the ground trying to find food. However hedgehogs can run, climb up and down steps and they can also swim. Only four of the hedgehog's five toes touch the ground. The fifth toe is much smaller which is why hedgehog footprints only show four toes. Hedgehogs have very good senses of hearing and smell but their eyesight is very poor. You can sometimes see Hedgehogs during the daytime. If they look lost then they might be ill, but if they are snuffling for food and it's hot they might just be hungry and thirsty. This often happens when it's coming up to hibernation. If you see this please give your hedgehog some food and water.


Hedgehogs eat almost any type of invertebrate (invertebrates are animals that do not have a backbone). These include caterpillars, beetles, snails, slugs, worms and spiders. They also like to eat fallen fruit such as apples during autumn. If you want to help feed your hedgehog, then they really like cat food or special biscuits that you can buy from a pet store (like' Spikes Dinner'). A saucer of water will also ensure that they don't dehydrate. Milk and bread can make hedgehogs sick so it's best to avoid these.

Predators: Hedgehogs have a number of enemies, so their spines are an important defence. Badgers, foxes and eagles all try to eat hedgehogs.


During the autumn hedgehogs prepare for winter by eating lots of food. They have to build up their body fat. In November when it gets colder, a hedgehog makes an extra thick nest under a pile of leaves and moss to keep the rain out and trap the heat. It crawls into it's nest and goes into a deep sleep until April. You can put a hibernation box in your garden to help hedgehogs survive the winter. This should be waterproof and covered with leaves.

Other hedgehogs: Did you know that there are 17 types of hedgehog? They are found in Europe, Africa and Asia.