Interesting Hedgehog Facts
- Hedgehogs have poor eyesight but a great sense of smell – so good that they can even smell the scent of an earthworm underground
- Hedgehogs can swim but can become trapped in pools and ponds with steep sides
- As many as 500 fleas live in a hedgehogs’ spines
- Hedgehogs can wander for up to 3 km a night in search of food
- The English name hedgehog, is because when they move through the hedges looking for worms and insects, they make a piggy grunting noise.
- The Latin for ‘hedgehog’ is Erinaceus which means ‘spiky wall’
- The Irish word for hedgehog is ‘gráinneog’ – meaning ‘horrible one’
- Hedgehogs occasionally perform an unusual ritual of ‘self-anointing’. This occurs when they come across a strong or an unfamiliar scent. The hedgehog will lick and bite the source and then form scented frothy saliva, which it pastes over its spines with its tongue. Some believe that this ‘anointing’ camouflages the hedgehog with the scent of the area.
Winter nests – Master builders
Nests are constructed in sites chosen for support from surrounding objects. They are usually made mainly of dry leaves, specially selected and carefully built into a robust weatherproof structure. They are 50 cm in diameter. Nests built in brambles, with plenty of support last a long time.
Make a Hedgehog
Materials: clay, Pinecone or teasel.
Build a hibernating nest of grass, leaves and dried vegetation for your hedgehog.
It’s October, your hedgehog has to build up fat for his hibernation. Where does he eat?
Can we find hedgehog food in our base?
Materials: card/paper, pencils and or black markers, magnifying glasses.
Find food for hedgehogs. Work in pairs. Draw each kind of invertebrate/hedgehog food you find. Count how many you find of each and put the number beside it.
Meeting Point activities.
At the meeting point. Senior infants are very inventive. Every week new things happen with the boxes of materials. One child is hitting a stone with chalk and asks us to listen to the rain. Stones change colour when painted with feathers with water.
On the way up stopping under a horse chestnut and finding lots of conkers. One child found the biggest conker ever!
It takes a long time to walk up to our camp as the children show such curiosity in everything as they encounter. Letting millipedes walk on their hands as the examine them.
The hawthorn tree is at the top of the hill. Today we hiked up and collected haws to make tea. The weather was so sunny we decided to have our picnic and drink our haw tea on the sunny rocks.
What is in the pool? Something new to explore.
Clay, pine-cones, pencils and bug boxes for our hedgehog focus.
Something has been feeding on this very large mushroom.
Recording hedgehog food.
One child saw a mouse go down a hole. A group of four spent lots of time waiting patiently for the mouse to come out. They tried lots of tactics. They placed a piece of cheese at the hole. Someone got a clump of grass to hide behind. They created a wonderful imaginative word in the cave by discussing what was happening to the hidden mouse.