When to help a hedgehog;

If the hedgehog is out during the day

Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals, sleeping during the day and foraging for food at night.  They will only come out during the day if there is a problem.  Any hedgehog found out during daylight must be taken to a wildlife rescue centre. The only exception to the rule is large female hedgehogs in the summer and autumn. Pregnant or nursing hogs may come out to find more food but generally you will not be able to catch them as they will be moving fast and obviously large and healthy.

If the hedgehog is asleep away from its nest

Hedgehogs only sleep and hibernate in specially built nests. If you find one lying in the middle of a garden or path, assume they are ill and take them to a wildlife rescue centre as soon as possible.

A single orphan after surveillance

Juvenile hedgehogs live in family groups in nests.  Tiny babies will only leave a nest if there is a problem.  Young hedgehogs will make a very loud, squeaking noise if they are in distress.

If the hedgehog has been hit by a car

Hedgehogs are often hit by cars, and can suffer a variety of injuries, they must have medical assistance immediately.

If a leg appears damaged

Fractured legs are easily treated, take the hedgehog to your local wildlife rescue as soon as possible.

If you hear continuous squeaking noises coming from a possible nest site.

Something may have happened to the mother and the babies are calling for food. Ring your nearest wildlife rescue to come and assess the situation.

If the hedgehog has open wounds

These can become infected and will not heal without assistance. In the summer months it is extremely common for hedgehogs to suffer from 'fly-strike'. Flies lay eggs on sick or injured hogs which hatch into maggots and eat the animal alive. If you see what look like tiny grains of rice, or grass seeds it is very important the hedgehogs receives care as soon as possible.              

If it's dragging both hind legs

This can indicate a spinal injury, handle the hedgehog very carefully and take to a wildlife rescue as soon as possible.

If the hedgehog is caught in netting. Do not release.

Take to a wildlife rescue centre immediately, complete with the net.  They must be cut out, and will need to stay in hospital for at least seven days' observation, in case of further complications.

Any "apparent" orphan showing an injury

Any young hedgehog that has an injury, or is out during the day, should be taken to a wildlife rescue centre.


Hedgehogs should be handled with thick gloves, their spines can hurt and they may bite. Once you have established that a hedgehog is in need of assistance, pick it up and put it in a cardboard box or pet carrier with newspaper and a towel. You could also add a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel, (or any plastic bottle filled with warm water), to the box; as direct warmth will help an animal that is suffering from shock. The hedgehog should then be taken to a wildlife rescue centre as soon as possible.

Remember! Hot weather doesn't only affect humans. Hedgehogs really suffer in the heat as the ground dries out and food is scarce. Please help hedgehogs in your garden by leaving out a dish of clean water and some cat or dog food at night.

Hedgehog numbers are rapidly declining. Help the hogs in your garden by leaving hedges, wild flowers and plants to grow. Stack logs to attract insects and do not use slug pellets. Always check for hedgehogs in long grass before strimming and in bonfires before burning.