Nearly a quarter of the hedgehogs born into the world die before leaving their nest and almost a half of the rest do not survive their first hibernation.
Most of us will see more squashed hedgehogs than live ones. The main reason for this is their natural defence mechanism is to roll into a ball, which is no defence against road traffic.
All nature-loving people want to do something about this carnage.
Sadly, hedgehogs can be notoriously difficult to spot on the roads, especially in unlit areas. The only thing we can do is drive carefully, especially at night, do all you can to avoid hedgehogs that may be crossing the road and if it is safe to do so, stop and assist hedgehogs to get across quickly.
Ask your friends to be kind to hedgehogs on our roads too.
Hedgehogs are sometimes subjected to deliberate cruelty by heartless or thoughtless people. This is now illegal. Should you see this occurring contact the police or RSPCA. If the unfortunate hedgehog is injured, try to get it to a Veterinary Surgeon, or local hedgehog carer, and report the matter to the local RSPCA.
We can all assist hedgehogs that have endured early adversities in several ways:-
Providing as safe an environment as possible in our gardens and allotments. Whenever possible a small corner should be left as a wildlife sanctuary, the rewards of which could include the pleasure of seeing visiting hedgehogs, as well as the knowledge that they will be helping in clearing the ground of pests. Accumulating materials – garden rubbish, leaves, brushwood, etc. – suitable for hedgehogs nests and supplementing their natural diet of slugs, snails, beetles, worms, caterpillars and suchlike with some protein such as meat based pet food, particularly in periods of unseasonable weather. A bowl of drinking water should also be available at several sites around the garden.
Assisting them to avoid man-made hazards and eliminating or reducing such dangers whenever possible.