Hedgehogs live in a broad range of habitats.
Apart from very wet areas and extensive pine forests, they live in most parts of Britain.
They are also often scarce in upland areas such as moorlands and mountainsides. Hedgehogs enjoy living on the edge of woodlands. They thrive in the mosaic of hedges, fields and woodlands that characterise the British countryside.
Hedgehogs can be just as happy in rural or urban locations
As the name suggests, hedgehogs are often found near hedgerows.
These are ideal nest sites, providing a good supply of food, protection from predators and corridors to move along.
The pastures used by farmers to raise cattle, sheep or horses are also important foraging areas for hedgehogs.
Gardens (and lots of them) provide the perfect ‘hog habitat
Hedgehogs are also abundant in urban and suburban areas. Gardens provide hedgehogs with a plentiful supply of food, both natural and supplementary, as well as many potential nest sites for breeding, resting and hibernation. For these reason urban areas have become a stronghold for hedgehogs in recent years.
Access between gardens is critical for hedgehogs
Hedgehogs have home ranges they like to keep to, but are not territorial so will not fight to defend these areas. Radio-tracking studies have found that hedgehog home ranges vary during the year (and between sexes).
On average, they are around 10—20 hectares in size. Hedgehogs can roam an average distance of 2km on a single night. Male hedgehogs in the breeding season can cover up to 3km in one night in their search of females!