The problem is, Penny, and I know it is a cliché – but nature is cruel and hedgehogs are no angels in that respect, as anyone who has seen and particularly heard a hedgehog killing a bird will tell you.
I had the misfortune to be a witness to such an event. I thought the terrible sound was the hedgehog in trouble and rushed out, only to find that it was the hedgehog that was killing a fledgling. It was past saving by then, so it seemed better to let the hedgehog finish the poor thing off. Similar to the badger kill you described, the hedgehog’s normal nightly food was waiting only a couple of yards away. It is upsetting, but this is their natural behaviour.
It would never be safe to allow a badger to feed next to a hedgehog and John Lewis’s Christmas advert may not have done hedgehogs any favours encouraging people to think that wild animals were all like ‘happy families’.
It doesn’t seem right to me to play one species off against the other. Neither should be victimised for behaving naturally. Both are pawns and as you say having to live in closer proximity to each other, due to human’s activities.