Hedgehog - Erinaceus europaeus


A familiar and unmistakable spiny, mainly nocturnal, mammal. When threatened it will roll itself into a ball, using its spines for protection. They are quite noisy and can often be heard snuffling and grunting during their activities. The Hedgehog is about 20 to 30 cm in length.

Identification difficulty

The European Hedgehog lives in woodland, farmland, and suburban areas. It is often seen as a road casualty.

When to see it

Most of the year but the European Hedgehog hibernates in the winter and emerges around Easter the following year.

Life History

Hedgehogs are born in the spring, usually with four in a litter. Their spines are soft at first but they quickly harden. In the autumn the mother will bring her family to a place with lots of food and then abandon them. The Hedgehog spends the rest of its life as a solitary animal, meeting other Hedgehogs only occasionally to mate. It feeds on a wide range of invertebrates but preferring slugs, earthworms, beetles and other insects. It will also eat any dead birds that it finds. It has become a serious pest in the Western Isles of Scotland where introduced Hedgehogs eat the eggs of ground-nesting birds.

UK Status

Widespread and common throughout Britain.

VC55 Status

Common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map