Kids Corner: Spiking some interest for Hedgehog Awareness Week

Our prickly friends need your help

No more hedgehogs by 2025 – in Britain that is. That’s what I heard recently. Shocking! No wonder it’s Hedgehog Awareness Week from May 3-9 in Britain.

But what about Denmark and dear little Danish hedgehogs? Well, we contacted the Danish hedgehog society Pindsvinevennerne and sadly Mrs Tiggy-Winkle’s tale is none too perky here either. So Jake and I decided to visit a friendly hedgehog foster mummy called Conni to find out what we can ALL do to help make life more comfortable for these sweet little animals – though comfortable is perhaps a funny word to use for beasties covered in spikes!

Happy hoggies at home
Eighty-six. That’s how many hedgehogs in need(les) Conni took under her wing last year. The most at any one time was 23. Some were long-stay patients and some were passed on to her network of about five fellow foster friends for fattening up or rehydrating before trotting back off into the wild. The little fellow in the photo had been disturbed from his winter sleep a wee bit early. He was lovely.

Conni started fostering seven years ago when a family of young hedgehogs lost their mum. Now she has at least four permanent prickly residents in her garden, which with its huge woodpile is hedgehog heaven.

So what does it take to be a hedgehog foster mum?

You need time, according to Conni. A call can come any time, though the peak season is from May until November. And you need the stamina to care for sometimes wounded, infected hogs and to remove ticks, mites, maggots etc if necessary from the poor little creatures.

Naturally, the society puts new recruits in touch with an experienced contact person to help advise on looking after sick hedgehogs, bottle-feeding hoglets and homing hoggies. Food (kitten biscuits) is delivered to the door and the cost of medicine is covered by the society.

Anyone interested in volunteering is welcome to write to They are also interested to hear from potential drivers who can pick up hogs and drop them off with foster parents, though the petrol isn’t refunded and all work for the society is voluntary.

Snout and about

Pets are a big responsibility and most kids want them (now and again). But they are much less bother if they look after themselves and only come out in the evening and night. Best of all, they give you an excuse to put your feet up and take a rest from gardening! What might look like messy bushes, compost heapsand tall grass to you might be the perfect spot for a snoozy hedgehog. Sadly, thousands of hedgehogs die every year due to overly energetic gardeners wielding rakes and other gardening tools.

Herbicides, insecticides and slug pellets etc also spell trouble for hedgehogs and their friends, the frogs, toads, birds etc. ‘Slug pub traps’ are easy to make as an effective alternative but hedgehogs eat slugs and insects for free.

Live in town?
Copenhagen has lots of parks, so keep your eyes peeled. If you see a hedgehog during the day or find a hedgehog in the evening that is hurt or not moving, call the hedgehog hotline 24-7 (see

Always keep plant pot saucers of water dotted about on the ground and perhaps hide one in a hedge in a nearby park and keep it topped up. All animals and birds need water – especially in hot weather.

Never give hedgehogs milk.

All for a good cause
If you’re planning your summer wardrobe, the website has cool t-shirts and softshell coats. Buy one and you’ll help fatten up a hedgehog or two instead of Prada’s pockets. Click on the link ‘Shop’ (far right on the main top menu), then ‘Tekstiler’ (far right). They have t-shirts in black and lime green in size 8-10, so click ‘Bestil varer’ (order goods) and order there.

The sturdy shopping/beach bag, cap, fridge magnets, postcards and gift vouchers etc make great presents that show you care twice over – click ‘Andet’ to take a peek.

The annual membership fee is 100 kroner, and though the member magazine is in Danish, the pictures are soooo cute. Or why not bake a chocolate and strawberry hedgehog cake (see photo), bottom left like we did, auction it on Facebook among your friends and send the proceeds to help the hedgehogs. It was yummy!

(photo: Helen Dyrbye)

See for more photos and inspiration on baking the cake etc.

Helen Dyrbye is a published author, translator and former scout leader from East Anglia in England who relocated to Denmark a long time ago and loves it here as much as ‘back home’.