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Gratitude for the Hedgehogs: Childhood Memories and my Heart for the Environment

A case submitted by

Niklas Nyblom

For the larger part of my childhood, I can remember how I used to see hedgehogs running around during summer evenings. That was always a sign from nature that summer was finally here, and seeing these cute small animals running around our garden always made my heart warm. Not only was it a motivation for me to be outside, but observing how the number of hedgehogs decreased throughout the years also motivated me to take care of our environment and advocate for the hedgehogs. This is a story about why hedgehogs are so important to me but also why climate change creates feelings of sadness and anxiety.  

I grew up in Rosersberg, a small district 30 minutes with car away from Stockholm. Next to our house, we had a small forest full of ecosystems, and if we were lucky, we could see wild deer and rabbits in the mornings. However, the hedgehogs visited us every day. I used to spend a lot of time with my neighbor, and together with her, we used to feed the hedgehogs as they marched one after the other into her small courtyard. I loved hedgehogs, but sadly, year after year, they started to dissapear until they eventually only showed up once every full moon.  

The older I got, the more I began to learn about climate change and how hedgehogs had started to die out. Unfortunately, Rosersberg has become larger and larger over the years: forests are torn down for new houses, an industrial area that has brought more traffic and noise, and fewer and fewer places for hedgehogs to spend their time. After being red-listed in April 2020 by the Swedish Nature Conservation Association, it is with anxiety that I realize how the hedgehog will likely become extinct, and with sorrow when this lovely animal only becomes part of our past memories. Despite these difficult feelings, the hedgehog made me care about the environment; to only buy organic products and pay extra Swedish crowns for companies that support the environment, to skip the bonfire on Walpurgis Night to advocate for the lives of animals, but also to appreciate the ecosystems around me much more. The hedgehog made me do everything I can to protect our planet.  Dear Hedgehog, thank you for everything you have done for me; I hope to see you again soon!


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