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How do i find out if we have any hedgehogs?

This may seem like a daft question, so apologies if it is.  I'd love to encourage hedgehogs into our garden.  It is a reasonable size with a little woody area at the far end, where we have oak trees and scots pines.  A good hedge down the length of the garden 30m's worth.  Is there any way we'd know if we already had hedgehogs around here, or do you just build/buy them a house and see if anything goes in ?  We have a fox, and lots of wildlife / birds in the garden.

Where would we start with something like this.  Don't want to feed them as I feel it should all be natural. Maybe they are out there and we just don't know... 

Any advice ?




  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,848

    Hi Peanuts

    If you've got hedgehogs you'll see the droppings about the garden in summer. Little cylindrical shaped ones'

    google 'hedgehog droppings' and have a look

  • a little before dusk you will hear them, noisy buggers they are. I was amazed to discover what was making all the racket and you can follow them if your still and quiet they have bad eyesight, down wind works best for this. I used to hear one go past lots of evenings if i was reading my book in my hammock after pretending to tend the garden. 

  • Peanuts3Peanuts3 Posts: 759

    ooh maybe we do have them then, as I've seen poop like that and thought it was a cat.  How exciting.  thank you. 

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,848

    That is exciting. I'm envious, none here for years

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,126

    We have several visit our garden each evening - ours don't make an appearance until a couple of hours after dark - think they go next door first - we put some food out for them as we're well aware that some of the changes we've made to this garden since we came here have temporarily reduced the hedgehog-friendly habitat and food supplies - we also ensure there's a shallow bowl of fresh rainwater available every evening - we've often seen them drink from it and it's always half empty in the morning.  We also have a couple of hedgehog houses in quiet corners - we believe at least one of them to be in use this winter.  

    Poo on the lawn is the first sign of hedgehogs - the second way of spotting them is to send a smoker to sit out on the garden bench for their late evening puff - my daughter thought we'd got a prowler in the undergrowth until she saw a hedgehog snuffling around near her feet image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • yes i thought it was a person first time too, so much noise for such a small chap.


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,126
    Random Mike wrote (see)

    yes i thought it was a person first time too, so much noise for such a small chap.


    Actually, ours wasn't that small - quite a substantial individual - daughter named him Hefty!  He/she's easily identifiable when there are other hoggies visiting image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,167

    There was one on my lawn a few weeks ago, quite big too. I felt very honoured by his visit. A friend figured out he had come through a hole in the fence.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,126

    We have cut holes in our fence (hedgehog gates) especially so that the hedgehogs can come and go around the neighbourhood - hedgehogs need to cover a fair distance every night to feed and to meet up for romantic liaisons - one of the causes of the decline in hedgehog population is the increase in solid fencing image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • jo4eyesjo4eyes North East Derbyshire Posts: 2,058

    I've done that too Dove. We had a new solid wood side gate fitted & as I knew, from droppings, the old gate was a 'route' I asked the joiner to cut one out. image

    Trouble is a local cat can sneak through as well. He/she then hides amongst my Hosta pots to stake out the birds feeding nearby! (Said cat, I assume, has also buckled the the polycarbonate lid to 1 of my coldframes by jumping down from the fence onto it!!)

    Last summer I found the 'nest' of dried leaves under a Leyland hedge where I expect 1 had hibernated over winter 12/13.

    Daughter also woke her parents at about 3am one night, after a night duty, to show us her photo of our visitor!! J.

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