Caught in netting

Do not remove the netting from the hedgehog.

trapped in nettingInstead cut away the netting around the hedgehog making sure it does not run away as you do so.

Place the hedgehog in a secure container and take it straight to a hedgehog rescue, wildlife rescue or a vet so that they can untangle the netting from the hedgehog and check for damage.

It is important that you leave the netting in place on the animal as it often cuts into skin tissue causing hidden damage, or cuts off the supply of blood from limbs causing constriction injuries that may flare up several days later.

Netting casualties should not be released immediately but will need to be kept by a rescue for up to a week for observations to ensure the hedgehog really is well and fit for release.

Please visit our What to do page for further information.

Stuck in a drain

Hedgehogs often get stuck in drains and will need assistance to get out.

The only way to do this is to use two pairs of pliers, attach these to the hedgehog’s spines either side of the animal and pull hard. It does seem cruel but the hedgehog will die if it is not rescued from the drain.

Please make sure all drains and holes are covered to protect hedgehogs, other wildlife and pets.

Once you have extracted the animal put it in a secure container or DEEP box and take it to a rescue or vet immediately to be checked over. They can be suffering from hypothermia, ingestion of water or chemicals poured down the drain and will need treatment. Do not just release them.

Please visit our What to do page for further information.

Out in Daylight

onmyway Hedgehogs are nocturnal creatures that should be sleeping during the day and foraging for food at night. If you find one out in the daytime it usually indicates that there is an underlying problem with the hedgehog and that it needs help.

Often with these cases the hedgehog is also suffering from the dehydration so needs to be contained/placed somewhere secure while you contact your local hedgehog or wildlife rescue for advice.

Special considerations needs to be given to during the summer to females out wandering during the day as it may be a nursing mother so you need to seek advice from a rescue centre.

A basic guide is:
If the hedgehog is walking purposefully, looking like it is going somewhere, and is walking along the edge of a wall, fence, hedge etc then it may have been disturbed from its nest and looking for a new one.

If it has a mouthful of leaves or baby then its moving nests and doesn’t necessarily need help, just monitor it to make sure it gets where it’s going safely.

Please visit our What to do page for further information.

Sunbathing/Out in the open

sunbathingHedgehogs do not normally sleep on paths or sunbathe in the open on lawns.

They will normally be in nests or in long grass, so if you suddenly find one asleep on a path or your lawn then please don’t ignore it.

Place it in a secure container, DEEP box, or cover with a box/bucket and give your local hedgehog/wildlife rescue a call for advice straight away.

A sick hedgehog does not have the luxury of time, by the time you see it it will be extremely ill.

Please visit our What to do page for further information.


Image courtesy of Kilchoan Where baby hedgehogs (hoglets) are found out of the nest in day, when the nest has been destroyed or the mother killed or injured, then the hoglets (and mother, if alive and at all possible) need to be carefully moved to separate secure containers so that mum does not kill the babies.

DO NOT handle the babies more than necessary. If possible pick them and the nest up together. The more of your smell you get on them the more likely mum will kill them.

Line the container with newspaper and a towel (ideally with a covered hot waterbottle/pad, or plastic bottle filled with hot water again covered in a towel for warmth) and rescue centre contacted immediately for advice. If there is nesting material around please include this with the babies as it’s a comforting smell.

NEVER disturb a nest of babies unless you are absolutely sure that the mother has been killed or injured, she may be lying nearby. Monitor for a couple of hours to see if she returns to feed. Babies are always best raised by mum and if you disturb the nest too much she may abandon or kill the litter.

If no sign of mum or if the babies start to come out of the nest or are peeping for her then pick them up, house them as above and call for help.

Out in winter

winterHedgehogs will go into hibernation for many different reasons and at different times, but they may wake and forage for food in the middle of winter.

In order to survive hibernation, hedgehogs need to weigh at least 450gms by the late autumn but preferably more. 600g is a figure settled on by most rescues for absolute safely.

Any that have not reached this weight will struggle to survive the winter, so will need to be taken in and looked after until they have gained sufficient fat reserves. Again this is best undertaken by a hedgehog or wildlife rescue who will be able to monitor faecal changes and treat for any parasites while the hedgehog remains in care.

Please visit our What to do page for further information.