If you’ve found a hedgehog in distress in your garden, here are some things you can do to help it, as well as the local hedgehog population in general.

Heat

Sometimes hedgehogs can suffer from hypothermia. If you witness a hedgehog during the day acting strangely, it’s likely they’re trying to warm up in the sun. Take them in, and wrap them in a towel inside a deep box. Place a water bottle with hot water inside it underneath the towel, to warm the hedgehog up, before releasing it back into your garden and observing it further.

Food and Water

A malnourished hedgehog will appear skinny and unwell. First, attend to it with water as it may be dehydrated. If it drinks a lot, don’t give it food right away as this may be harmful. Seek advice about what to do next. If the hedgehog seems okay, you can give it some dry cat or dog food, or some insect food which you can buy at a pet shop.

Shelter

Hedgehogs like to burrow in areas such as piles of wood and heaps of leaves. You can build or buy your own hedgehog house, or if you need to keep an eye on it at home, keep it cosy in a deep cardboard box.

Free Movement

Hedgehogs are naturally curious, and nocturnal, creatures. They’ll want to roam around for quite a distance in the dark hours. Allow the hedgehog you’re observing to have free access by creating holes in your garden fence, about the size of half a CD.

Advice and Treatment

Unsure about anything? Seek advice from an online or local wildlife centre or hedgehog specialist. They’ll be able to tell you what signs to look out for, what they mean, and what you should do. They are resilient little creatures!