Hedgehogs do not like been out in open spaces and will follow linear features such as hedgerows, walls, fences and buildings, they have poor eyesight but can recognise landmarks such as hedgerows, buildings and trees and the removal of these structures contributes to fragmentation of habitat and isolation of hedgehog populations.
Hedgehogs are predominately solitary, except during the breeding season and being nocturnal obtaining exact population counts are difficult.
Hedgehogs are locally widespread and can be found in rural and suburban habitats. Local population counts can vary from region to region; with large quantities of hedgehogs in suburban areas and a decline in numbers in many rural habitats (Emily Wilson and David Wernbridge).
Hedgehogs are active during April to October in the UK, they can be seen outside this period but this may be due to having their nest disturbed, a predator being present in the area or being ill. Hedgehogs are active before dusk and after dawn later on in the year as they have to build up their fat reserves before winter.
Hedgehogs have a large range and travel 2 to 4km per night in suitable habitat looking for worms, slugs and caterpillars and will visit several gardens in one night looking for food. They will consume wind fall fruit, live and dead mammals along with bird eggs and fledglings. They even consume toxic millipedes and beetles that other animals/birds will not eat. They are partial to sugar substances and can be found licking the sugar contents out of human rubbish. The ideal feeding ground for a hedgehog is damp grazed grassland due to the quantity of ground invertebrates in the soil.
Hedgehogs need 20 to 30 hectares approximately (60 acres) of continuous well-connected habitat that links them to cemeteries, parks, gardens, wasteland, hedgerows or roadside verges, with male hedgehogs travelling 1 to 2 miles a night (2.5 miles in a straight line). If the habitat is built up e.g. thick woodland they will travel fewer miles per night. They may stay in the same place for a number of days or move month to month or completely vanish.