Did you know that hedgehogs are celebrated each year on 2nd February? Yes, 2nd February is Hedgehog Awareness Day, created to help raise awareness for these much loved creatures. As you probably know, the hedgehog population is in rapid decline. But with more awareness of our prickly friends and their needs, we may be able to help.
Here’s 5 fun facts about hedgehogs you may or may not know:
1) The word Hedgehog first appeared in 1450. Hedge comes from where they like to build their nests, ie hedges. And the hog bit refers to the snorting or grunting sounds which is similar to pigs. However, they weren’t always called hedgehogs. They used to be called urchins which lead to the word ‘sea urchin’.
2) They eat mainly insects. If you have lots of flowers and plants in your garden this is a good way to encourage hedgehogs. They will love to feast off the insects attracted to the plants and flowers and will use the fallen leaves for their nest building. If you’re trying to grow fruit and veg, these spiky creatures are your friends as they will help keep the caterpillars and beetles at bay. Hence why they are known as the ‘gardener’s friend’.
3) The UK only has one native species of hedgehog although there are 15 across the world. The UK one is known as the European hedgehog and has over 5000 spikes.
4) Hedgehogs like to be on their own. They tend to leave their mother after 4-7 weeks and then they can live around 3 to 5 years. They only get together with other hedgehogs when it’s time to mate.
5) The best way to look after hedgehogs is to let wildlife grow, ditch the artificial grass idea, provide them with a suitable place to nest and create a hedgehog highway. Read more tips here: British Hedgehog Preservation Society or find out more via the People's Trust for Endangered Species.
Want to grow the wildflowers that attract hedgehogs? It’s simple to do with this Jin Designs Hedgehog Mix. Just scatter these seedballs and let nature do its thing. You can also celebrate our dear friend Hedgie on a range of Jin Designs homeware and gifts. See the Hedgehog Collection. Let these simple items be a reminder of our prickly friends and our responsibility to look after them.