Late September and the nights are drawing in, the mornings have a nip in the air and the little Hedgehogs are scurrying around our gardens, looking for food and shelter with an inborn instinct that tells them to fatten up ready for the hibernation of Winter.
The few Hedgehogs in our garden seem to be quite healthy, although we did see a small one last week but I think he was just passing through as it were. We leave our tried and tested Hedgehog food out each night and between one and five Hedgehogs turn up and scoff the lot! It is a lovely sight and they will let us get quite close without bothering them, we have a raised garden and so we can crouch behind a wall about three feet high and be within a few feet of the Hedgehogs.
They seem to move very fast when they want to and when you see two of them playing around it is bliss - so rewarding. Unfortunately us humans have a better calender than they do and we know how close it is getting towards colder whether.
In order to survive the Winter a Hedgehog needs to weigh at least 600g. Generally speaking this is a fairly large animal, if you see what looks like a small Hog and it is after October, then catch hold of it (with gloves on) gently and weigh it. If below 600g put it in a small cardboard box with some bedding and a drink of water and contact your local Hedgehog sanctuary, most counties have one and they are easily found on Google, but if you have difficulty please do message me and I will see what I can do to help. The Hedgehog Sanctuary will advise on what is required, this may vary from just keeping it warm and releasing it the next day, right the way through to taking it to the Sanctuary and letting them keep it healthy throughout the Winter and then they will release it in the Spring.
There are lots of reasons why a Hedgehog does not make the weight required to survive the Winter, it may have been a runt of the litter, or it's parents did not feed it well enough or they left the offspring early and they were all small. Remember us having three weeks of rain back in June? well all wildlife and birds will have struggled to raise young during that time and it could be that they lost the brood and so they will breed again but the young will be always catching up in terms of growth and maturity.
A young Hedgehog ^