Become a local hedgehog fosterer
Are you enthusiastic about hedgehog welfare?
Do you have a passion and an interest in helping wildlife?
Are you over 18?
Do you live locally?
Once rescue hedgehogs are medically stable and no longer taking medication they can continue to gain weight in the care of one of our hedgehog fosterers until they are ready to be released back in to the wild. This also helps Hornbeam Wood Hedgehog Sanctuary free up some much needed space for hedgehogs which need more intensive care.
Our foster carers help by looking after one or more of the healthy hedgehogs at their own home. They provide suitable accommodation and food until the release weight of the hedgehog has been reached and the season is suitable. This can be for several months between November and March and could be for the entire of this period. The main focus of foster carers is to help the hedgehog gain weight and in the process stop them from hibernating until they are at a suitable safe weight for them to hibernate or be released.
All hedgehog foster homes are vetted to ensure that the location is suitable. Please take a look at the information about becoming a fosterer before getting in touch with us to register your interest.
What do I need to become a hedgehog fosterer?
There are a number of things you will need to become a fosterer of a hedgehog. You will be required to have all of these already, or be willing to buy / source these items before a hedgehog is dropped off in to your care.
You would need a quiet area away from human disturbance and activity.
You will need a place which won't fall below 5 degrees in temprature. A shed, or garage might be ok but ideally inside in the warmth. This will help stop the hedgehog going in to hibernation.
You will need a hutch suitable for the hedgehog. This could be something like an old rabbit hutch for example.
You will need to have suitable bedding for the hedgehog. This can be straw or hay. We sell bags of hay which can be delivered for free.
You will need to have enough food for the hedgehog. The hedgehog needs about 100g of hedgehog food per night (3kg/month) which we sell, or one sachet per night (30/month). A full foster period is from about November until March (5 months / 150 days).
You will need scales that measures in grams.
You will need leather, cloth, or rubber gloves to use when handling the hedgehog.
You will need rubber gloves to use when cleaning out the hutch.
You will need a carrier or a box suitable to transport the hedgehog incase of emergencies.
You will need access to transport
What will I be required to do as a hedgehog fosterer?
It is a responsability and requires a certain amount of dedication to foster a hedgehog. You will be looking after the hedgehogs welfare which will require you to perform certain routine activities. A typical foster period would be several months but could be up to five months.
You are prepared to provide food for the hedgehog each night.
You are prepared to clean the hutch on a daily basis.
You are prepared to weigh the hedgehog on a regular basis (at least weekly) and record those weights.
You will not handle the hedgehog unless directed to do so by us.
You are willing to transport the hedgehog back to us if it becomes unwell so we can administer medication or in an emergency take it to the vet which we use.
For the safety of the hedgehog, you are willing to oversee all of the above responsabilities if a child is helping to assist you.
You won't be alone.
One of the members at Hornbeam Wood Hedgehog Sanctuary will be assigned to you and will help to provide advice and guidance while you are fostering a hedgehog.
You will be given instructions in basic hedgehog care.
You will be able to contact us any time for advice and guidance.
You will have access to our online hedgehog group where you can chat with other foster carers and hedgehog lovers. You will be able to share you experiences, photos, and videos and see how other fosterers are doing.