The warmer weather is here and reports are streaming in of hedgehogs emerging from hibernation. Last year was my last field season for my PhD and entailed radio-tracking hedgehogs on farms in Norfolk and Yorkshire. This time of year is normally spent frantically gathering equipment and starting to survey farms for hedgehogs. It therefore feels odd to be sat at a computer reading tales of other people observing hedgehogs when I’m used to being out following them myself. Still, lots of hedgehog work to get on with as I am currently analysing faecal samples in the lab and beginning to embark on writing my thesis.
For me, the arrival of spring is not marked by hearing my first chiffchaff of the year, or seeing my first brimstone butterfly, but by the emergence from hibernation of our resident hedgehog. As she is blind, Poppet lives a semi-wild existence, free-ranging in our enclosed garden; and we supplement her natural diet with nightly provisions of hedgehog food.