ROUND brown and famously covered in spines, one the UK’s most familiar mammals will be waking up soon.

You may start to spot hedgehogs waddling about in parks and gardens, where bushes and hedges provide the perfect daytime getaway.

They also like insect-rich lawns and flowerbeds, which make excellent feeding grounds at dusk.

Hedgehogs eat all kinds of invertebrates, as well as amphibians, birds’ eggs and anything else they can catch. They particularly like big, crunchy beetles, earthworms and slugs, making them a gardener’s best friend.

Hedgehogs will travel up to two miles in one night in search of food and are often fleeting visitors.

If you think you might have had a hedgehog in the garden but aren’t sure, there are a few tell-tale tracks and signs to look out for.

Keep your eyes peeled for small footprints on the ground. Hedgehog’s footprints can be mistaken for those of other mammals, so be sure to count the claw marks; there will be five as opposed to the four claw marks of other species like rats and grey squirrels.

Other giveaways include small, dome-shaped bundles of leaves under shrubs and hedges, which indicate a hedgehog nest. You may also hear hedgehogs. They grunt and snort like little pigs, which is almost certainly the root of their name.

There are some simple ways to make your garden more attractive to hedgehogs, like making a log or leaf pile, letting grass grow a little wilder, and leaving plenty of fallen leaves in autumn for their nesting material.

You could also get together with your neighbours to connect the gardens in your street. By making holes in your fences or digging channels beneath garden boundaries, you will help hedgehogs on their nightly travels.

For more information on how to create a hedgehog hole, visit