A bird's eye view of Beckum

Hedgehog - animal of the year 2024

Hedgehog is animal of the year 2024

Who doesn't know our cute little prickly friend who rustles through our gardens at night, enriches our children's picture books ... and who unfortunately often lies dead by the roadside.

Not only road traffic, but also gravelled gardens where they cannot find food, robotic mowers that cut off their noses, scythes under hedges that cut off their legs and poisons that are spread make life and survival increasingly difficult for them.

Prison-like gardens that are hermetically sealed off with opaque picket fences, which we call "oases of well-being", limit the feeding radius and are a lost habitat for our hedgehogs. Our green spaces in public areas are regularly mown and in some cases mercilessly cleared down to the stump. This makes them uninviting for our native wildlife.

Extensive scrub and hedgerow landscapes once characterised its habitat in a varied agricultural landscape, which we only know in this form from old photos. For a long time, our gardens offered the hedgehog a new home, until the above-mentioned measures of 'modern' man increasingly reduced these areas of retreat.

The population is now so endangered that it is even on the Red List of Mammals in Germany.

The 'German Wildlife Foundation' is therefore trying to counteract this unfortunate development by choosing the animal of the year. More publicity means more attention, more awareness means more attentiveness, which could possibly save the animal's life.

The hedgehog is one of the oldest mammals on our planet. It has inhabited this planet for around 15 million years and is now in danger of being wiped out by us in a very short space of time.

Our hedgehogs have also been under threat in Beckum and the surrounding area for a long time. The 'Private Hedgehog Aid Beckum' organisation points to an increasing number of hedgehogs in need of help. Every year, more sick, injured and almost starving hedgehogs are handed in, which would not survive without human help. But without the help of every single garden owner, the dedicated hedgehog helpers have no chance.

For hedgehogs to survive, our gardens need more "natural corners", more leaves that are not swept away, and they need hedges, shrubs and deadwood hedges for insects, the hedgehog's most important food source.

Our prickly night wanderer urgently needs such 'wild corners', where nature is given free rein and which are worked on as little as possible. This is where it finds its food, where it can hide, build a nest, give birth to its offspring and hibernate later in the year.

But this is often not enough. Because hedgehogs are unfortunately no longer able to find sufficient food in this age of insect decline, supplementary feeding is essential for their survival. The best way to support 'your' hedgehog is to offer suitable food!

Please do not use ready-made hedgehog food from the shops, which is mostly unsuitable and also completely overpriced. Use grain-free cat food with a meat content of over 60%. Wet food must not contain any sauce or jelly, which can lead to fatal diarrhoea in hedgehogs.

Here you will find important tips on first aid for weak and starving hedgehogs, as well as information on whether 'your' hedgehog really needs help (keyword 'diurnal') or whether it is better to continue on its way.


Please help to ensure that our lovable spiky friend still has a chance tomorrow!