Hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) sheltering in a pile of fallen leaves, Sussex
© Jules Cox/Minden Picture
A prickly customer. Hedgehog in Sussex
This prickly customer is in Sussex, in south-east England but hedgehogs are widespread across the Europe. European hedgehogs are thought to be the largest and heaviest of the hedgehog family. A nocturnal creature, they can often be found in gardens, snacking on its preferred diet of insects.
While there are concerns about plummeting hedgehog numbers in the British countryside, in some countries, the European hedgehog is considered an invasive species. In New Zealand it has no natural predators and threatens the food supply of native bush birds. But who could possibly get angry with that little face? With roughly 6,000 spines on its back, the hedgehog was, at one point, used as an unofficial symbol for Nato, chosen because it's a peaceful animal, with a rather pointed defence system.