Nearly half of all hedgehogs die during their first winter. Many starve, while those born in late-summer are often too small to hibernate, and so are unable to survive the cold weather. In mild winters, hedgehogs are prone to waking up, having been tricked into believing it is spring. They waste valuable fat reserves looking for food.
Provide hedgehogs with shelter by making a leaf pile or buying or making a hedgehog house. Leave a dish of water and dog or cat food to help boost their fat reserves. Keep leaving food out for them, until it's no longer taken (usually mid- to late-autumn when they enter hibernation). Always check bonfires before lighting them, preferably making the pile on the day you intend to light it.
If you find a baby hedgehog in autumn, take it in and keep it warm in a tall-sided box with hot water bottle on the bottom, covered with a thick towel. Feed it with cat or dog food and water and call the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) on 01584 890801 for further advice, or visit britishhedgehogs.org.uk