Help hibernating hedgehogs
AS THE FIRST FROST LINGERS AND THE WIND WHISTLES through the turning leaves, be mindful of the hedgehog (Erinaceinae), which this month will be hunkering down for hibernation. Having fattened up on caterpillars, beetles and earthworms, these spiny mammals will enter a state of inertia during which their body temperature lowers to such an extent they are no longer considered warm-blooded. Rather than sleeping until spring, they awaken sporadically in search of sustenance, so will appreciate crushed dog or cat biscuits, but never milk (which can upset their stomachs). You can also provide them with a spot to bed down by leaving piles of logs or leaves in your garden or allowing an area to grow wild. Alternatively, buy a purpose-built hedgehog home. Find out more at rspca.org.uk.