argylesock says… We don’t see many hedgehogs now. I miss them.
Hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) are probably one of the UK’s cutest and most iconic woodland mammals, and often feature in some of our most popular literature – think Mrs Tiggywinkle, or the unfortunate ‘croquet balls’ in Alice in Wonderland. There’s also A Prickly Affair: The Charm of the Hedgehog, by Hugh Warwick which is a delightful account of the natural history of the hedgehog – although beware, it does contain accounts of hedgehogs as a roadkill delicacy.
There’s a lot of folklore and myths surrounding the hedgepig too. Elizabethan farmers thought that hedgehogs suckled the milk from dairy cows, and there was a bounty of 3 pence per hedgehog caught. The Romans thought that the hedgehog could predict the start of Spring, whilst Asian cultures credited hedgehogs with great wisdom.
Recently there was a huge public outcry surrounding the hunting of hedgehogs in the Hebridean island of the Uists…
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