Hi Tony Witham
Sorry it’s taken so long for someone to reply.
It might be helpful to give you a few extracts from BHPS FAQs to give you an idea of what is likely to be a problem:
There’s a hedgehog in my garden sunbathing, is that ok?
No, it isn’t. Hedgehogs’ shouldn’t sunbathe and if you see one doing this it is in urgent need of help. Please use gardening gloves or a folded towel to pick it up, pop it into a high sided box with a towel or fleece in the bottom, keep it warm on a covered warm hot water bottle (even in hot weather), offer suitable food and water (see above) and then call BHPS on 01584 890 801 for further advice as soon as possible.
I’ve seen a hedgehog that looks ‘drunk’, is that ok?
Again, no, it isn’t ok. Hedgehogs in this state are actually hypothermic and in urgent need of help. Please offer the first aid described above and call us as soon as possible.
Are Hedgehogs meant to be out in the daylight?
Not usually no. Hedgehogs are nocturnal, which means they shouldn’t really be seen out in daylight hours. Some of the exceptions to this are pregnant females gathering nesting materials just before she gives birth, or a new ‘Mum’ taking a break from the nest to get food and water while her young sleep. Sometimes, when the nights are short, a hungry hedgehog may forage around dusk and dawn. However, these hedgehogs would move quickly with purpose. If a hedgehog is lethargic, lay out, has flies around it, is wobbly, or gives you any other cause for concern, please call us for advice ASAP on 01584 890 801.
There might be occasions when a hog has settled down somewhere for the day and then been disturbed and then it might move during the day to find another suitable place. 8 o’clock is a bit late to be caught out, leaving it too late to get home! Also, in general it’s a bit early in the year for hogs to be nesting. But as you describe it the hog was moving purposefully – although, it should be borne in mind that wild animals are very good at covering up when they are unwell.
I would just keep an eye out and if you see the hog behaving, in any way, like the BHPS quotes above, or if you are worried, then ring the BHPS to find your nearest carer, explain everything to them and take their advice.
Just one thing. You say you provide food and water, but it’s a good idea to leave water available all day every day. A dehydrated hog may come out during the day desperate for a drink. I use large (usually over 10″ wide) plant saucers at different places in the garden. Just make sure they aren’t so deep that a hoglet could get caught in them.
Good luck and happy hog watching.