Specieswatch: hedgehogs are well-loved but mysterious garden visitors

We know so little about the lives of these endearing animals, whose numbers are in decline in Britain

The European hedgehog, Erinaceus europaeus, is said to be the gardener’s best friend; eating slugs, beetles and other unwelcome visitors to the vegetable patch. Whether this is true or not, the garden is the most likely place to find what is considered to be Britain’s favourite mammal, the species having fled from industrialised farmland to survive.

Related: Country diary: preparing the garden for a much-loved mammal

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