Many of us will regularly see Hedgehogs, but it is often the rather sorry individuals that have been hit on the road. It is therefore always great to see one wandering around happy and healthy. Day-time sightings of a hedgehog are usually a sign of an individual in trouble – possibly sick or injured. However, in the summer, females will often come out to forage during evenings if she is feeding young or lining a nest. As a result, an apparently healthy individual such as the one pictured here (in the garden of one lucky member of the INIS Ecology Team) can be left alone to go about their business.
How Can We Help?
With increasingly less space for nature in our countryside, rough and wild areas left in gardens can become a haven for Hedgehogs and the insects they mainly eat.
Care needs to be taken to ensure these areas are left “wild” over winter for hibernating hedgehogs. Small piles of wood or sticks are ideal, or consider constructing a purpose-built Hedgehog house.
These helpful steps will help to support these wonderful animals. At this time of year, and particularly after the very wet July we’ve experienced this year in Ireland, additional food can be left for hungry female Hedgehogs, such as wet, meaty cat or dog food. Despite all the rain, provision of water is always a good idea, and please…. no bread or milk!