Varied Hedgehog


Echinocereus viridiflorus (Nylon Hedgehog Cactus)

Echinocereus viridiflorus (Nylon Hedgehog Cactus) is a small cactus with spherical or cylindrical stems up to 12 inches (30 cm) and up to 3.6 inches…

Hedgehogs need a variety of landscape elements with a decent understory for shelter and protection. They are also found in urban areas. On average, hedgehogs move around 3 km per night, so they need more than one garden to run around for potential food sources.

Hedgehogs are mostly active during the night and the twilight zones. Hedgehogs have an excellent smell to detect prey. They feed mostly on worms, snails, beetles, caterpillars, but occasionally go for eggs, rodents or mushrooms. Hedgehogs can eat up to 50g of food per night.

Hedgehogs are born naked, but already one hour after birth, their spines start to grow. After 5-6 weeks the young hedgehogs are independent

Hedgehogs are hibernating from October until March. They usually sleep in a pile of branches combined with some leaves. During their hibernation, they wake up sporadically. So actually it’s better to use the term ‘winter rest’ instead of hibernation. Before their winter rest, hedgehogs buildup an extra fat layer. During their winter rest, body temperature decreases from 36°C to 1-5°C.

Echinocereus russanthus is a small columnar cactus very popular in collections around the world for the arrangement of its thorns and flowering. It is a species native of northern Mexico , but its cultivation has spread to all over the world as an ornamental plant. It is a kind of growth quite slow and rarely amacolla . It is grown mainly in small pots because it does not develop a large size.

View of the stem of a young Echinocereus russanthus

4 signs a hedgehog frequents your garden at night

1. Leaves and ground foliage have been disturbed

Hedgehogs like to rest in damp, dark places, like log piles or composts. If you have any areas like this in your garden and notice a place of disturbance, it could well have been made by a hedgehog.

Already have a hedgehog house or feeding station? Place a large leaf over its entrance in the evening and check if it has been moved in the morning.

2. Droppings spotted

It's possible to have droppings of all shapes and sizes in our garden from various animals, so how can we tell whose is whose? Hedgehog droppings are the size of a small cat poo but are round on top instead of pointy. If you spot any of these, you know a hedgehog has been.

3. Install a camera

For the true wildlife fans among us, this will allow you to get to know your garden habitat at night through electronic eyes. Positioning a camera carefully will mean you capture every animal that graces your lawn. Here are some top picks.

Make Your Garden Hedgehog Friendly…

There are several inexpensive and easy things that you can do to attract hedgehogs into your garden. However, it is very important that you provide a safe and friendly environment for them.


Hedgehogs roam large distances of up to 2 miles a night to source a varied diet and find mates, therefore enclosed gardens are not suitable for hedgehogs. They are good climbers and can scramble up banks and hedges but there needs to be easy entry and exit points for them. Take a look at the Hedgehog Street Initiative.

We would recommend a 13cm x 13cm hole to allow hedgehogs of all sizes easy access.

Super tidy gardens are not very suitable for hedgehogs, leave an area of your garden wild with piles of leaves and natural debris to be used as nesting material as well as foraging grounds for hedgehogs. It is important to attract bugs and insects as these are the main food source for hedgehogs. A bug hotel, wildflowers and log piles are all easy ways to encourage insects.


Feeding can encourage hedgehogs to regularly visit your garden, we would recommend meaty cat or dog food. A feeding station may prevent cats and other animals eating the food. There are a range of designs, which can be easily replicated, at no or minimal cost. It is also IMPORTANT to provide a shallow dish of WATER, particularly in summer months.

For more detailed information of the do’s and don’ts of feeding hedgehogs as well as feeding station designs visit our Wild Hedgehog Feeding Advice page.



If your keen for hedgehog visitors to take up residence you can add a hedgehog box or two. Our recommendation is for a box with an internal tunnel, this helps to reduce drafts and keep them toasty warm. Igloos are not suitable for winter nests, they are very light weight and can be blown away or easily flood.

There are no guarantees that hedgehogs will nest in homes provided but if situated in a quiet area tucked in under bushes or undergrowth and left undisturbed visitors may decide to take up residence. If you fancy having a go at making you own here is our design.


Keep gardening netting, such as pea netting, a foot above the ground to reduce the risk of entanglement. Similarly, lift football goal netting off the ground overnight.


Ponds and pools need to be easy to escape from with ramps, logs or stones partially submerged if there is not a sloping edge or plastic coated wire over the side. Hedgehogs are good swimmers but plastic rims to ponds often prevent them from scrambling out of the water, keeping water levels topped up and ensuring there is material for them to climb up and out on can reduce the risk of them becoming trapped in the water.

The Wildlife Trusts have created this brilliant guide to making a miniature wildlife pond in your garden. Full instructions here.


Each year we receive numerous hedgehogs that have become trapped in drains, worn their claws back trying to climb out and are hypothermic or have pneumonia. It is important to keep drain holes covered and check uncovered drains regularly. Trenches from building or garden works can present a similar problem, providing an exit or checking regularly is the best course of action.


Move the bonfire on the day of lighting to ensure there are no nesting or hibernating hedgehogs inside. It can take a hibernating hedgehog over 8 hours to warm and be able to move so just disturbing a bonfire before lighting is not enough, especially given that their key defence is to curl into a ball NOT to run.

Light the bonfire from one side only, this will allow any other wildlife to escape.


Encouraging slug eaters such as hedgehogs and frogs into your garden is of course the best method of control. Slug pellets and pesticides can kill hedgehogs, try using wildlife friendly alternatives such as copper tape, crushed egg shells or coffee grounds. If you must use pellets and/or pesticides, then use them as sparingly as possible and pick up dead slugs and snails.

Check out Horace’s Helping Hedgehog Checklist for more things you can do to help hedgehogs in your garden and local area.

Watch the video: African Pygmy Hedgehog. Pros and Cons, Price, How to choose, Facts, Care, History

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