It’s coming to the time of year where our spiky little friends are on the move and it’s up to you to get your friends and family involved to help hedgehogs in your local community. Coming out of hibernation and clocking a distance of 1-2km per night, it’s important to be mindful of how you can support them on their way. So how can you get involved? We’ve compiled a list of the best ways you can support a happier, safer spiky community.

Spike Their Attention

Being able to spread the word to both your inner circle and to your local community will help to get everyone on the same page about hedgehog awareness in the coming months. There are plenty of options you can use to get the word around, such as a social media post or video, posters in your local community on notice boards, bus stops or similar, and even holding a small talk with volunteers to build a team that’s ready for the challenge!

Helpings Hogs On and Offline

Being able to support hedgehogs goes a long way for keeping their endangered species in our community, and you’d be surprised just how easy it is to get involved to spread awareness and raise funds. We’ve compiled a list of key activities you can get onboard with to help our little hogs below.

  1. Create a Social Media Page 

There’s nothing better than being able to get something for free is there? Why not spike your audience’s attention by creating something as simple as a facebook page or an instagram account that’s focused on spreading awareness in and around your local community for hedgehogs. Posts could include important dates to remember when you’re doing local fundraisers to support the cause, fun facts about hedgehogs and simple pointers to educate your followers on exactly how to get involved this year.

If you need some inspiration from some excellent pages already out there, check out the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, Amazing Grace and more for great ways on how to approach this prickly topic!

        2. Bring Your Community Together

Everyone in and around your local area is more than capable of supporting this brilliant cause, perhaps they’re just a bit on hedge about how they can get involved! Speak closely with your friends and family on exactly why you’re getting stuck in, and the more minds you have involved, the less you have to worry about hedging your bets on the perfect plan.

First things first, what’s one thing we love almost as much as we love our little hogs? Cake!

Nothing gets the local area out more than a good bake sale, and you’ll be surprised just how much this will help support your cause. Maybe a local fundraiser car wash? A book sale? There are plenty of options to create a special incentive for a brilliant initiative, it really does change it from a spiky conversation to a ball of happiness for both helpers and hedgehogs.

        3. Be Cool, Be Hedgy

Hosting a talk in the local community will be a great place to start when putting across your motive for the cause. First things first, educate your audience the basics that they’ll need to know about hedgehogs – what time of year do they typically come out of hibernation? How can they move through your garden safely? How can you help feed Hedgehogs and what food is best to give them? Get them started on the right track here and get your spiky community rolling!

        4. Maintain The Spiky Community

Once you’ve put together your top team of hog experts, created a fundraiser, educated your group and kept our spiky friends both fed and on the move through our gardens safe and sound, you’ve made a special start to saving their community. Now the onus is on you and your community to keep up these standards and be on the lookout for them visiting your gardens soon!

There you have it, you’ve got all the tools you need to get your campaign off the ground to help hedgehogs in your local area and help spike the attention of the community. Keep an eye out for spiky little visitors in your garden soon!


It’s spring which means hedgehogs are now coming out of hibernation! However, with increased activity, comes increased risk. There are many factors that have led to the decline of the hedgehog population, including increased road traffic, loss of natural habitats and lack of food but there are ways we can help save Britain’s hedgehogs without even having to leave our home! 

Social media can play a huge role in protecting wildlife, all you need to get started is a Facebook, Twitter or Instagram profile. 

How can I make a difference using social media?

  1. Education is key 

The first thing you can do is start by following accounts with a shared interest for hedgehogs and wildlife welfare. Some of our favourite accounts include Amazing Grace the Hedgehog and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and our social media account, Spike’s Hedgehog Foods, also has a vast amount of educational resources and helpful tips. Making sure you are up to date with the latest news and advice around helping hedgehogs will make it easier for you then to be able to share this knowledge with your friends. 

  1. Share relevant content 

Whether you share advice and tips created by other social media accounts or if you decide to create your own image, status or video, this has the potential to be seen by a wide range of people. Following accounts with similar interests will help you build your own social community that will in turn help you get your message to the right people.

Social media has the power to shape and influence people’s opinions. If sharing one piece of educational information can encourage just one person to be more aware of hedgehogs in their local area, this could save a hog’s life. Hedgehogs are mysterious creatures that many people don’t know much about. Here are some of the key topics we would suggest sharing with your friends, family and peers on social media:

  • How to spot an injured or sick hedgehog
  • What food to provide for your local hedgehogs
  • What you can do to care for them 
  • How to make your garden hedgehog friendly 


  1. Take action 

Petitions are a great way to make a real change either in your local area or nationally. Websites such as make it easy to get involved with existing petitions or you could even create your own. 

Sharing these on your social media is a good way to help get others involved too. A recent survey, calling for hedgehog highways to be made a mandatory requirement in new build housing, has gone viral with the help of social media. If you’d like to get involved you can find the petition here

  1. Support your local hedgehog rescue or charity 

Using social media is the best way to connect with your local hedgehog rescue or charity. Although donating is a great way to help there are many other options that can be done through social media. 

Engaging with your local rescue, whether that be commenting on their posts, sharing their content or messaging them to see what you can do to help, will all make a big difference. When you engage with another account’s content you are in turn increasing the amount of reach their posts will get which will help them spread awareness. 

  1. Join community groups 

In most towns, villages and cities there will be a Facebook page that people use to discuss local matters and share community news. These are great to help spread awareness of hedgehog activity in your local area and educate/inspire others to join you in helping put a stop to the declining hedgehog population. 

You may find that there are already lots of people within your local community that are doing their bit to help or are interested in getting involved. If this is the case you could look into setting up a hedgehog specific Facebook group where you can share ideas and thoughts or meet up in your local area to discuss how you could take your initiatives further. 

For hedgehog tips, advice and to chat to like-minded hedgehog lovers follow Spike’s Hedgehog Food on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

According to the Wildlife Trust, hedgehog numbers have declined by over 30% in the last 10 years. For the abundant number of wildlife lovers across the UK, this is truly devastating and it’s hard to imagine our country without the spiky little creatures. Losing a quintessentially British species hedgehogs would be a massive blow to many of us, which is why we need to do everything we can to prevent their decline. If you’re a hedgehog advocate and are searching for ways to make a difference, read on for 22 ways to help hedgehogs in 2022.  

1. Do your research

In order to help hedgehogs, you need to understand their way of life, what to look out for, what factors are negatively affecting them and the role we play in the decline of the species. Knowledge is power; we can only really help if we understand the challenges they’re facing! 

2. Create a hedgehog highway

Hedgehogs need to be able to move between gardens with ease. Cutting small 15cm holes in your fence, one on each side, helps hedgehogs pass freely as they search for food. Hedgehogs are natural wanderers and do this instinctively, so any helping hand you can give them is a bonus!

3. Plant hedges and bushes

Planting a few bushes in your garden may not sound like a big deal but these could really make a difference for your local hedgies. Bushes provide a safe space for hedgehogs to sleep and hide from predators and they’re normally bristling with tasty insects for hedgehogs to feast on. 

4. Stay away from pesticides

Many widely used garden pesticides are harmful to hedgehogs. The good news is that hedgehogs actually help you get rid of pests. What is a pest for you is actually dinner for hedgehogs!

5. Leave food and water 

Hedgehog diets consist mainly of insects and invertebrates. The destruction of natural habitats in the UK has caused a shortage in these food sources, which is having an impact on hedgehog survival as a result. To help hedgehogs, you can leave out Spike’s hedgehog food as a supplement to their diet. 

6. Submit hedgehog sightings

If you see a hedgehog, it is always a good idea to submit the time and location of the sighting on our website. This information is useful, as it gives us more insight as to where hedgies are more frequently found and the distribution of the species across the UK. Submit a sighting here.

7. Drive with care 

As we go into 2022 and the months start to get warmer, keep an eye out on the road when driving at night as hedgehogs are known to enjoy an occasional late night stroll. Hedgehogs don’t understand which areas are safe to walk in and which are not so it is your responsibility as a hedgehog advocate to keep your eyes peeled. 

8. Add a pond 

If you’re looking to spruce up your back garden, now is the time to invest in a pond. Ponds attract various creepy crawlies – exactly what hedgies like to have for dinner! Other forms of UK wildlife also benefit from ponds.

9. Make ponds safe

If you do decide to build a pond, or if you have one already, try to take steps to ensure it’s safe for hedgehogs. Put a ramp in the water so if an unsuspecting hedgehog does fall in, they have an escape route. 

10. Strim with care

When it’s time to strim the lawn, many people go about the task without a second thought. It is always worth checking the entire area first and make sure there are no spiky friends nestled between the blades of grass. 

11. Don’t use slug pellets

Slug pellets can actually kill your friendly neighbourhood hogs so it’s best to steer clear of these wherever possible. There are many natural, non-toxic alternatives you can use instead, like coffee grounds or egg shells. 

12. Make a hedgehog house

Many hedgehog advocates are building their own hedgehog houses and putting food and water inside. Hedgehog houses give spiky visitors somewhere quiet to eat and drink, where they won’t be bothered by predators. To find out how to build a hedgehog house, click here

13. Create a log pile 

Creating a log pile is a sure-fire way to make your back garden that extra bit hedgehog-friendly. Hedgehogs love curling themselves up in dark, enclosed spaces and log piles tend to attract plenty of spiders and beetles for them to eat. 

14. Create a compost heap

A compost heap is the ideal environment for hedgehogs to nest in and they’re very attractive to creepy crawlies, which means they provide both shelter and food for our spiky friends. To make a compost heap, pile kitchen and garden compost waste in a quiet corner of your garden.

15. Choose the right plants

When deciding on plants for your garden, try to choose native varieties that attract invertebrates like slugs, caterpillars and beetles. The more food sources available to hedgehogs, the better!

16. Get rid of litter 

If your garden is overrun with litter, this is quite dangerous for hedgehogs. They can easily get caught in packets or plastic and can even injure themselves, so it is always best to keep your garden clear of rubbish. If you have netting in your garden, consider whether you might be able to make do without it. Similar to rubbish, hedgehogs can get caught up in different kinds of netting. Sports netting in particular can be quite dangerous to hedgehogs.

17. Cover up drains

If you have exposed drains around the outside of your house, make sure these are safely covered up. It doesn’t take much for a hedgehog to accidentally fall in, so air on the side of caution by buying a drain cover.

18. Be careful with bonfires

It goes without saying but be very careful if you decide to build a bonfire. Before lighting, check the area with a fine tooth comb to ensure there are no sleepy hedgehogs dwelling inside. You should also always be very vigilant when clearing your bonfire away. 

19. Know when to ask for help

If you see a hedgehog out during the day or come across one that appears to be injured, always call your local hedgehog rescue straight away. Hedgehogs are wild animals and as much as you may want to help, they need to be handled a certain way. Offer food and water (wet cat or dog food will do just fine if you don’t have Spike’s) and stay with the hedgehog until help arrives.

20. Watch out for hoglets

Most hoglets are born in Autumn and need to gain a certain level of fat in order to survive the winter. If they’re born too late in the season, the chances are that they won’t have had enough time to do this. If you see a hoglet that appears to be on it’s own, or a hoglet that seems smaller than usual around November time, call your local hedgehog rescue for advice on what to do next. 

21. Get involved 

You might be surprised to discover that there are an abundant number of hedgehog helping communities in most towns and cities across the UK. Get involved with your local wildlife advocates as there’s always strength in numbers. These groups are always on the lookout for volunteers at shelters or people to help out at fundraising events!

22. Get social 

These days, there are hundreds of Facebook groups and Instagram accounts dedicated to hedgehog welfare. It’s time to get social by connecting with online communities and helping spread the word about hedgehogs. What better time to start than 2022!

To keep up with Spike’s and to find out what we’re doing to help the nation’s hogs, follow us on social. 



Meet Jacqueline Clarke, our Hedgehog Hero for October! Jacqueline is a hedgehog superstar and does everything in her power to spread the word about our elusive spiky friends. As well as spreading awareness, Jacqueline also runs a hedgehog hotel, where she and her team of volunteers care for poorly hedgehogs. We spoke to Jacqueline to find out a little bit more. 

How did you first become interested in hedgehogs?

I have always had an interest in wildlife and I want to pass this down to my toddler. We’ve made our garden hedgehog friendly by adding nesting boxes and feeding stations. A few years ago, a friend found a 150 gram hedgehog that was struggling and she didn’t know what to do. I reached out to a local hedgehog advocate, Dave Lunn, for advice. He kindly offered to mentor me and taught me everything he knew. He advised me to do the Vale wildlife course and my rescue started from there.  

What do you think is the best thing about hedgehogs?

In my opinion, the best thing about hedgehogs is that they are the gardener’s best friend. They help keep our gardens pest free when we allow them to have access and ingress. They’re elusive little creatures and this adds to their mystery and general cuteness. 

What can we all do to promote hedgehog welfare?

Education is the key. I believe the younger generation have an important role to play and the more we can educate the public, the better. I use lots of different methods to educate people on my Facebook rescue page. I do talks, entirely free of charge, at primary/secondary schools/colleges in the local community. My aim is to help people to become more involved in helping hedgehogs in their gardens by offering supplementary food and water. 

What is your process when it comes to caring for hedgehogs?

My process is as follows: hedgehogs are triaged by specifically trained ‘accident and emergency’ nurses, who give the first assessment. From there the hedgehogs will either go to my ICU, nursery nurses or creche facilities. We then screen samples for parasites and offer treatment accordingly. Once the hedgehog has fully recovered, they move into one of my ten creche facilities. Then, when the initial target weight has been reached they then go to foster care until they reach the weight desired to be ready for release.  

Do you do any fundraising to raise money for hedgehogs?

I’m lucky to have some wonderful volunteers and followers of the rescue, who all work hard to raise funds including sponsoring and just giving etc. We’ve had some very generous donations from people who kindly donate the proceeds from auctioning personal items. Rescuers often stay involved for many years after they deliver a sick hog into my care and regularly donate. 

Do you have any other plans for hedgehog welfare on the horizon?

My future plans for hedgehog welfare involve continuing to do regular talks in the local community. I’ve written many articles that are published in all the local newspapers and I’m heavily involved with radio and social media platforms. I have over 100 foster carers who are specifically mentored and trained for free and all I ask is each mentor passes the knowledge onto someone else. Paying it forward is our way forward! 

What do you think the future looks like for hedgehogs?

Sadly, the future isn’t looking good at the moment but we can improve the outlook if we take action. Hedgehogs were recently moved on to the red list that is vulnerable to extinction in the UK. It’s critical that we do all we can to help because it would be a shame to lose them. That’s why educating the younger generation is the key. They’re our oldest living mammal and have been on the planet since prehistoric times. Many palaeontologists argue that they’ve been here between 25-27 million years from fossils found across the world. We must do everything we can to ensure their survival.  

Thank you Jacqueline for all the amazing work you do! You can find the link to her rescue here. Think you have what it takes to be a Hedgehog Hero? Or do you know someone that is currently making a difference? Connect with us on social media and send us your nominations!

We are delighted to announce that our Hedgehog Hero for September is Dave Lunn. Dave takes in hundreds of hedgehogs a year, helping those that are injured or ill before releasing them back into the wild. We spoke to Dave to find out more about where his love of hedgehogs stems from and how we can all make a difference when it comes to protecting the nation’s hogs. 

How did you first become interested in hedgehogs?

I have always been fond of hedgehogs. My house is full of animals, including dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and more and I try to promote animal welfare. I started rescuing hedgehogs a few years ago; there’s so much more to it than just cleaning and feeding them.

What do you think is the best thing about hedgehogs?

They’re cute and full of character but they’re also quintessentially British! I know they exist in other countries but they’re on our christmas cards and our tv ads. When you think of British wildlife, hedgehogs are often one of the first animals that spring to mind.

What can we all do to promote hedgehog welfare?

We need to spread awareness about the decline of the species, as they are vulnerable to extinction. Social media is massive and luckily, hedgehog awareness is now starting to spread in Britain. Celebrities like Sir Brian May do what they can to champion hedgehogs and we need to keep pushing their plight as much as we can. 

What is your process when it comes to caring for hedgehogs?

When a hedgehog first arrives at the rescue, I do a visual check for problems like bleeding, ticks, maggots, fly eggs and dehydration. If the hedgehog is dehydrated, I administer fluids. Once the hedgehog defecates, I examine the faeces under a microscope to check for any parasites. I also weigh them and make a note of this so I can track their progress over time. One thing I always do as well is name them! (although I have a strict ‘no sonic’ policy).

My goal is always to cure any illness or injury, help the hedgehog get nice and fat and then release it back into the wild. 

Do you do any fundraising to raise money for hedgehogs?

Hedgehog rescues are expensive to run so fundraising is a necessity. We constantly have to replenish our supply of incubators, microscopes, food, bedding and cleaning materials so we need all the help we can get. I have a few amazing supporters that make soft toys, garden signs and cards for hogs they’ve taken a shine to.

Do you have any other plans for hedgehog welfare on the horizon?

Unfortunately, there’s not enough hours in the day to do everything I’d like to do for hedgehogs. I’m just going to try and do my best for hedgehog welfare with the resources I have. 

What do you think the future looks like for hedgehogs?

The future of the UK hedgehog population is very bleak I’m afraid. This is due to the destruction of their natural habitats, as well as our increased use of garden chemicals. During the first lockdown we saw wildlife thrive in the UK, which further demonstrates the negative impact humans can have on our ecosystems. 

We need to continue to encourage our government to intervene, ensuring hedgehog rescue centres are protected and hedgehog welfare is a priority. 

Thank you Dave for the amazing work you do! You can connect with Dave via Facebook.

Want to hear all about our Hedgehog Hero for August? Keep reading! We spoke to August’s pick, Jannine Coleman, to find out all about the amazing work she does promoting hedgehog welfare. Jannine volunteers at Karen’s Hogspital in Brandon, Suffolk and moves mountains to raise as much money as she can for them. 

How did you first become interested in hedgehogs?

I’ve always loved hedgehogs, ever since I was a child. Mrs Tiggywinkle was my favourite Peter Rabbit character so it’s safe to say they’ve always had a place in my heart. I was lucky enough to have hedgehogs in my garden from an early age and have always loved feeding them and seeing what they get up to! They’re just the most adorable creatures and need to be protected at all costs.

What can we all do to promote hedgehog welfare?

Hedgehog welfare is something we are all passionate about at the Hogspital and Karen works tirelessly for the gorgeous little creatures; feeding every hour 24 hours a day takes dedication that’s for sure! We can all make a difference just by leaving out food and fresh water. It is always worth creating a hedgehog highway in your garden and even investing in (or making, if you’re that way inclined) a hedgehog house

What is your process when it comes to caring for hedgehogs?

Karen at the rescue does the wonderful job of caring for the hedgehogs. It is important to remember that hedgehogs are wild animals and you shouldn’t interfere with them unless you’ve had the appropriate training. I do what I can by raising funds for the rescue to ensure the hogs have everything they need to stay fit and healthy.

What sort of fundraising do you do to raise money for hedgehogs?

We have a team of wonderful crafters who make knitted, crocheted and other hand crafted items for us to sell at local craft fairs and events. We also recently attended a local fete, which was very successful in both monetary terms and in spreading the word about hedgehog welfare. All the funds we raise are donated to Karen’s Hogspital. 

Do you have any plans for hedgehog welfare on the horizon?

We have a few things coming up so watch this space! I really enjoy doing my part for hedgehogs so I’ll continue to spread awareness about them and raise funds to support them wherever possible. 

What do you think the future looks like for hedgehogs?

The future looks bleak for the native hedgehog which is so very sad. As a nation, we should be pushing the government to do more to protect natural habitats, curb the use of pesticides and include hedgehog highways in the building plans for EVERY new build home. We have a long way to go which is why it’s so important for people to get involved. 


Thank you Jannine for the amazing work you do and for always putting hedgehogs first! Do you have a passion for hedgehogs? If you constantly strive to promote hedgehog welfare, or know someone that does, connect with us on social media for a chance to be named our next hedgehog hero!


Meet Alice Fearn, our Hedgehog Hero for July! Alice is fourteen and is living proof that the younger generation can make a big impact when it comes to promoting hedgehog welfare! Read on to find out all about the amazing things Alice does and why she is the perfect candidate for our Hedgehog Heroes series. 

How did you first become interested in hedgehogs?

I first became interested in hedgehogs back in July 2017. We had just moved to the Lincolnshire Wolds and one day, I saw a hedgehog sitting in a field near my new house. I couldn’t believe it and neither could my family! We’d never seen a hedgehog before so it was a thrill to spot one for the first time. 

My brother made a hedgehog house out of a wine crate and I went to go pick up some hedgehog food. I tried a few brands but the neighbourhood hogs never seemed overly keen, until I brought home some Spike’s hedgehog food. Since then, we have had hedgehog visitors nearly everyday and they can’t seem to get enough of Spike’s. 

What do you think is the best thing about hedgehogs?

It’s hard to pick a favourite as there are so many things I love about hedgehogs! If I had to choose one thing, it would be how loud they are for such a small animal. Over the years, I’ve learnt to tell the difference between the noises hedgehogs make; they make sniffing sounds when they’re looking for food, huff and puff during mating season and the sound of rustling bushes lets me know they’re foraging. When I hear that distinctive crunching noise, I know they’re chowing down on some Spike’s! In my experience, hedgehogs seem to love semi-moist food and never say no to a bit of insect crumble as a treat. Hedgehogs rely on their sense of smell, which is perhaps why a slightly more moist food is irresistible to them. 

What can we all do to promote hedgehog welfare?

Nowadays, I think the best platform for promoting hedgehog welfare is social media. Instagram in particular is great for making younger generations aware of hedgehogs and educating them on what they can do to help the nation’s hogs. You can share posts easily and expand your reach, ensuring the right messages get across! People are really into video content at the moment and I believe this is a great way to spark people’s interest in hedgehog preservation. 

How did you first get involved with making Youtube videos?

I saw lots of people making videos on other subjects, such as cooking, makeup tutorials, etc, but I couldn’t find many videos about helping hedgehogs. A few years ago, I would have really appreciated more video content around how to attract/protect hedgehogs! So, I decided to just start making them myself in order to help others. Videos are great as visual content is much easier to understand and is also more likely to engage people. 

What is your process when it comes to making videos?

I like to address the questions I get from my followers. I also try to make videos that address questions nobody else on the platform is answering. Research is important, so I spend lots of time gathering information from different websites and if there’s something I’m not sure of, I get in touch with my local rescue centre. Occasionally, I will create videos that focus on a personal experience I’ve had caring for local hedgehogs. 

Do you have any other plans for hedgehog welfare on the horizon?

I would like to continue to highlight current issues hedgehogs are facing. The species is well on its way to becoming extinct and there is more we can all do to help stop this from happening. One big thing that I’m going to cover in a video soon is the importance of hedgehog highways and how people can get involved. I hope to gain more followers and subscribers along the way!

What do you think the future looks like for hedgehogs?

Fortunately, there is a growing interest around hedgehogs, thanks to campaigns and social media accounts that are helping spread the word about small changes we can make to help our local hogs. Simple things such as leaving a shallow dish of food and water can make all the difference! I think the more the younger generations take an interest in hedgehogs, the better the future will look for the species.

Alice’s mum, Tracey, is especially proud of her daughter and her commitment to the cause:

“Alice is passionate about hedgehogs, she enjoys letting me know all about them and showing me her social media. If I can’t find her in the house late at night I know where she will be (outside observing the hedgehogs)!”

Thank you Alice for all the amazing work you’re doing on behalf of UK hedgehogs! Subscribe to Alice’s Youtube channel ‘This Alice!’ and follow her on instagram @hedgehoglifeandmore.

We are delighted to name Charlotte Smith, who runs Hog House Rescue in Leeds, the Hedgehog Hero for June! Charlotte does some amazing work in her local area, rescuing and caring for poorly hogs. Read all about her day-to-day activities and what we can all do to protect and help save the hedgehogs.

How did you first become interested in hedgehogs?

I have always been interested in hedgehogs, even when I was a child. When I was younger, I once found one in the street that had sadly died; my best friend and I sat and waited until someone came to collect it and we were very upset that we couldn’t do more to help. I just love how cute they are and their sweet little faces. 

What do you think is the best thing about hedgehogs?

I think the best thing about hedgehogs is their ability to ball up tight to defend themselves and the way they can flatten themselves to get under gaps. They really are amazing creatures! 

What can we all do to promote hedgehog welfare?

We all need to do more to make our gardens more hedgehog friendly. Introducing a ‘hedgehog highway’ and a feeding station gives them an access point and readily available sustenance. We also need to reduce our reliance on pesticides when gardening as many of these chemicals are dangerous to hedgehogs. If we made these small changes I believe they would thrive so much more. 

How did you first get involved with the rescue centre? 

I first became interested in having my own rescue when I was on my way to my sister’s one day. I saw a hedgehog in the middle of the road in the hot sunshine and I knew immediately that it wasn’t okay. I took it to the vets, who checked it over, and then allowed it to live in our garden in a hedgehog house. The hedgehog continued to live in our garden until it unfortunately passed away. That experience really spurred me on to help as many hedgehogs as I could. 

What does a typical day look like at the rescue centre?

On a typical day, I get up and make sure all the hedgehogs are okay and that they’ve all eaten through the night. I then clean out every box and give them all fresh food and water. If any are on medication, I administer this, then they all go to sleep. While they’re dozing, I check all the resources and medication and order more as and when needed. Then the rest of the day is dedicated to answering calls and going out to rescue other hedgehogs! 

Do you do any fundraising to raise money for hedgehogs?

I usually set up fundraisers on Facebook to help raise money. I also have some very kind people that regularly donate to the rescue; it really is amazing as without their support we likely wouldn’t be able to carry on. 

Do you have any other plans for hedgehog welfare on the horizon?

I’m trying to spread the word on how to make your garden hedgehog friendly and give people advice on the best food to feed hedgehogs. It’s also my number one mission to educate people that if they see a hog out during the day, they need to get it help ASAP. It’s worth noting that hedgehogs are wild animals so your best bet is to call a local rescue centre or the RSPCA

What do you think the future looks like for hedgehogs?

If people don’t help them and make their gardens more hedgehog friendly, we will likely lose the species completely. Ultimately, we don’t want that to happen so we need to do everything in our power to protect them. 

If you know someone who you think has what it takes to be named a Spike’s Hedgehog Hero, connect with us on social and tell us about your nomination! 


Hedgehog Awareness Week occurs during the first week of May each year. The British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) helps raise awareness through campaigns, advocacy and educational projects so that practical steps can be taken to reverse the decline of hedgehogs in the wild. The BHPS also funds research to gain further insights into these much-loved creatures. Through Hedgehog Awareness Week, the BHPS aim to draw attention to the work they do and encourage the British public to get involved. But what can you do to help this endangered species? Read on to find out more…


How can I help hedgehogs?


There are a number of things you can do to help hedgehogs thrive in your local area, starting in your garden:


  • Make sure that any piles of leaves or logs are left undisturbed. They can make an effective hedgehog nest and will also double up as a great habitat to attract a rich feast of earwigs, centipedes and woodlice.


  • Cover any drains or deep holes that hedgehogs could fall into. If you have a pond or swimming pool, make sure there is an easy way out. Although hedgehogs can swim, they sometimes need a helping hand. Try placing half submerged rocks near the water’s edge, to help them should they get stuck.


  • When spring arrives and gardening begins, be sure to check grassy areas before using a lawn mower or strimmer. This will prevent any potential accidents with hedgehogs.


  • Avoid using pesticides or poisons that hedgehogs may accidently ingest, whether that be directly or when eating food sources such as beetles, worms and caterpillars.


  •  Although you might find it hard if your garden is your pride and joy, try to leave the gardening as long as possible to allow wildlife to thrive in a more natural habitat.


  • Tidy up any litter that may have been left or blown into your garden to avoid any hedgehogs getting trapped.


What should you do if you find a hedgehog in your garden?


There are a few things to consider if you spot a hedgehog before deciding if any action is needed. If the hedgehog is out at dusk or late evening, this is perfectly normal behaviour and the hedgehog can be left well alone. Leave out a shallow dish of fresh water and some scrummy Spike’s Hedgehog Food to help them with the energy they need to raise their new hoglets or to build up their fat stores ready for hibernation.


If you spot a hedgehog out in winter or in the middle of the day, then it could be that the hedgehog is unwell. In the winter months, hedgehogs traditionally hibernate due to the lack of food available in colder temperatures. However, this is no longer always the case with many hedgehogs coming out of hibernation in winter in search of food. Some hedgehogs, in southerly parts of the country, might not hibernate at all, so seeing a hedgehog out in the winter is not always a reflection of them being unwell. It can be hard to tell if there is something wrong so if in doubt, seek advice from your local hedgehog rescue. 


When should I help a hedgehog?


If you spot a hedgehog in your garden in the winter months or in the middle of the day, check to see if their eyes are open. If they are open then the hedgehog is not in immediate danger but you can continue to monitor from a distance, just to be on the safe side.


If you find one on a road, laying with their eyes closed, or if they look like they might weigh less than 300 grams, they likely need some help.


Other signs that a hedgehog might be in distress and need your help are:


  • Appears to be lethargic – hedgehogs don’t sunbathe. They prefer dark, damp areas so if you happen to see one out in the sun and they’re not moving, it is likely there is something wrong.
  • Flies – if a hedgehog has a swarm of flies surrounding them, they urgently need some help. 
  • Wobbly – while out and about, if you spot a hedgehog that seems wobbly when they walk, then the hedgehog is unwell and needs help from a hedgehog rescue.
  • Obviously injured – no matter what the injury is, make sure you speak with a hedgehog expert who can offer support with next steps.
  • Trapped – have they been caught in netting, a pond or in a drain? If so, the hedgehog is going to need a helping hand.
  • Hoglets – if you see hoglets out in the day, without an adult and/or they are squawking, they will need intervention from a hedgehog rescue or the RSPCA.


If you spot a hedgehog that fits one of the above criteria, contact the RSPCA or your local hedgehog rescue, who will be able to offer further assistance. For more help or advice about spotting the signs of a hedgehog in distress, take a look at The British Hedgehog Preservation Society website for more information.

Do you have regular hedgehog visitors in your back garden? Why not add your sightings to our hedgehog map and take part in the Spike’s Great British Hedgehog Survey.


This month’s Hedgehog Hero is 78-year-old Irene Cannon, who was nominated by many for her commitment to helping hedgehogs. Irene has been working alone over the past year as she had to isolate due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Here she tells us about her passion for hedgehogs and her fundraising efforts:


When did you first start looking after hedgehogs?

My involvement with hedgehogs started about 20 years ago when I found a hedgehog out during the day in the autumn months. Looking after the hedgehog made me realise I needed to know much more about their needs in order for me to continue to help them. To build my knowledge and experience I went on the First Aid, Care & Rehabilitation of Hedgehogs Course at Vale Wildlife in Gloucestershire and another in Yorkshire.


After I completed the courses, I realised that helping hedgehogs was a true passion and so that is when I decided to create Furness Hedgehog Rescue.


What is it about caring for hedgehogs that you love?


I love hedgehogs. They ask for so little; just food and water and somewhere to sleep. 

They are the most gentle little creatures – although I have had a few bites over the years!


What can we do to help hedgehogs off the extinction list?


Everyone should put a fresh bowl of water out every night whether you have a garden or not. Dehydration is a terrible thing.


For those that have gardens, it would help hedgehogs immensely if you create a hedgehog highway by simply having a 5″ gap in your fence or wall. If you have a pond, make sure there is an escape route for hedgehogs to get out, as many of them fatally drown in ponds every year.


Do you do any fundraising?


I do lots of fundraising. I sell hedgehog related items, most of which are donated by friends of the rescue. This year has been difficult because of Covid but on dry days I have been putting a small table outside my house to sell some of our hedgehog items. The support has been amazing.


Why do you think so many people nominated you to be a Hedgehog Hero?


I think a lot of people have nominated me because I run the only rescue in the area and I live in a small town where most people know me. Over the years I have saved countless hedgehogs and sometimes have over 100 overwintering or in need of care.


 What does it mean to you to be named the Spike’s Hedgehog Hero for May?


I think it is a great honour to be named May’s Hedgehog Hero with people recognising what I do and appreciating all the effort I put in on a daily basis.


Congratulations to Irene for being named this month’s Hedgehog Hero and for continuing your efforts throughout a difficult year!