HEDGEHOGS IN JUNE
June is usually the month when most hedgehogs will have their first litter. The breeding season can run into September. Some hedgehogs may take a while to get pregnant, others may lose their first litter and those breeding early may have a second litter.
Try to ensure that there is a way in and out of your garden by linking to your neighbours either side and behind. A small gap is all that is needed in a wall or fence or even a little soil removed so they can get under a fence. By linking gardens the males will be able to travel further to find and mate with the females. The males do not remain with the females to help rear the family. Visit www.hedgehogsteeet.org to find out more about linking gardens, Hedgehog Street is a joint project with People’s Trust for Endangered Species.
The hoglets usually come in litters of 4-5 and would leave the nest to forage with their mothers when they are about 4 weeks of age. They can have more problems moving about because of their size. While the adults can climb steps with little difficulty the hoglets do not have the reach to climb up steps. If you have steps in your garden you can help the hoglets by placing a brick at the side of each step. This will mean they have more steps to climb but each step will be much easier to navigate.
Should you see a dead hedgehog at this time of year it is worth checking the area for signs of orphaned hoglets. They make a high pitch squeak, like a bird but at ground level. Keep checking the area for perhaps a week as the orphans may remain in the nest for a few days waiting for mum to return. Older orphans may struggle by trying to forage for themselves but will eventually become weak and be out more in the daytime. Any young hedgehogs seen out in the daylight will be a cause for concern so give the BHPS or a local carer a call, they can assess the situation and give appropriate advice. Do remember that hoglets do not come in ones so keep searching for others.
If you are concerned about any hedgehog that you see contact the British Hedgehog Preservation Society on 01584 890801 (if you can weigh the hedgehog first that is always helpful) or give us the surgery a call on 02892667544. For more information about hedgehogs and how to help them visit the BHPS web site at www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk