Everyone loves Mrs Tiggywinkle!
Hedgehogs are easily recognised, but are steadily disappearing from the wild. Old names include 'urchin' and 'hedgepig' and they have been the subject of some strange folk tales. One was that Hedgehogs picked up fruit on their spines and another that they sucked milk from cows!
Green spaces like this one are important for Hedgehogs, which spend the day asleep in dense cover and come out at night to look for food. Their diet includes caterpillars, beetles, earthworms, slugs and snails. Although they look cute, they sometimes raid birds' nests for eggs or chicks and may even eat frogs. They spend the winter asleep in a sheltered spot, reducing their heart-rate and temperature to save energy.
The Hedgehog initiative encourages people to put out food and water for them and to make ‘Hedgehog highways’: small gaps in fences and walls allows them to travel between gardens and avoid roads. Roads are dangerous places for Hedgehogs and far too many of them get run over. If you find a hedgehog in need as assistance please contact ELM Wildlife Hedgehog Rescue & Rehabilitation in Seale Hayne. 07971 276658. Find them on Facebook search 'saving hedgehogs'.