Thought I ought to make a note here of the fact that I’ve seen no hedgehogs since late Spring. I was so pleased to spot one earlier in the year after such a severe and wet winter, but haven’t seen or heard one since. Normally there are the tell tale sounds of scratching at fleas and rustling through the undergrowth, or leaving little black hog poo’s on the paving. It always makes me smile to know they are around and munching on the slugs, but now there are no signs of their presence.
We had a really hot dry 2 weeks in Spring that got them out and about and probably breeding, but I worry that the ‘2nd Winter’ that followed in May/June may have killed them or their young who were not in hibernation mode any more? It certainly affected my plants (with many of them having a second Spring just now).
Has anyone else noticed a decline? I’ve no idea how they fare with excess wet either, and we’ve had more of that than I’ve ever known this year. This has also increased the slug population so I imagine a lot of people have been putting down slugs pellets all year, which could hurt the hedgehogs too (especially if they are using older more toxic ones that have been in their sheds since they were banned).
I really hope they are OK, but I fear the worst.
The photo here is one I only got because one of them was unwell and was flopped out on the sunny path a few years ago in mid Summer.