WHAT WE DO TO HELP BRITISH WILD HEDGEHOGS
We help wild hedgehogs in the Harpenden, Hertfordshire area of the United Kingdom. We look after hedgehogs that have no place to roam, have managed to find themselves in precarious situations, are ill, or injured. We rehabilitate them until they are fit to be released back in to the wild. We fatten up underweight hedgehogs that arrive at the sanctuary during the autumn/winter months so they are ready for release in the spring. We also tend to young hoglets during the spring/summer months that have lost their mothers and are orphaned, or have been found abandoned with many of these still with their eyes closed.
Deliveries and rescues of hedgehogs are received from local counties Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire around the area of Harpenden. Local collections are made from the public and veterinary practices in addition to the work involved in the daily care of the hedgehogs.
Local residents are also in contact with the Charity and injured and found hedgehogs are frequently delivered for recovery purposes involving the medication and nurturing of them back to full health ready for reintroduction to the local countryside and gardens.
Local vets notify the Charity of hedgehogs which have undergone surgery and the Charity looks after them until they are healthy enough to be released into the wild.
WHAT WE DO WITH INCOME GENERATED AND DONATIONS
All income generated together with donations is used to help look after Hedgehogs such as buying food and paying for materials to build custom huts, cages, pens, hedgehog gardens, ponds, and shelters. They are also used to buy medical supplies and pay for heating and heated pads.
Some donations go to other local Charity groups such as the Harpenden Scouts, Cubs, and Beavers so they can buy materials to help us with projects for the hedgehogs. Income received through Education and Awareness bookings may go to helpers who attend to help with visits.
Our future plans contemplate building a Hedgehog Nursery and Automated Hedgehog Feeding Stations, and donations will help to go towards the material costs of these projects. Some of the projects already completed include a Hedgehog Education Centre and Hedgehog Hospital.
HOMED DISABLED HEDGEHOGS
The sanctuary is set in about 10 Acres of woodlands, fields, and hedgerows. There are special pens and gardens for the hedgehogs which are protected to avoid any harm or disruption from people.
Some hedgehogs have residence in external enclosed release gardens due to them being unlikely to survive without attention such as having disabilities. A few of these hedgehogs have permanent residence at the Sanctuary until a suitable Enclosed Gardens is found for their eventual release back in to the semi-wild.
We look after and rehabilitate these hedgehogs until they are ready to be released in to an enclosed garden. Some of these hedgehogs have missing legs, are blind, or have other disabilities such as psychological issues which means they cannot be fully released back in to the wild.
BEAVERS, CUBS, SCOUTS, AND THE COMMUNITY
The Charity is not open to the general public as members have other occupations and spend their free time helping the hedgehogs at the sanctuary.
The Charity has opened the sanctuary to the local Harpenden Beavers, Cubs and Scouts groups to involve themselves in the work undertaken with the hedgehogs with the future intention of expanding the operation to include the local Primary Schools once the health and safety aspects have been resolved.
Recent projects which these groups have undertaken include making hedgehog rehabilitation hutches which were placed in the Hedgehogs Hotel area (where over 40 rehabilitation hutches are located). The groups have also been involved with creating Hedgehog friendly gardens and ponds along with bug hotels and many more projects.
FACILITIES FOR THE HEDGEHOGS IN REHABILITATION
We have a number of different locations at the sanctuary where hedgehogs in rehabilitation are cared for. The main building is our Hedgehog Hospital where the hedgehogs are initially assessed. This building also houses a number of incubators for the weak and very sick hedgehogs. It also has an operating table and stainless steel sink. Hedgehogs that have recently undergone surgery by a local vet or are on medication and in rehabilitation are inside this building. The building is insulated and heated.
We also have another larger Hedgehogs Intensive Care building for hedgehogs that need to be isolated away from other hedgehogs. There are rehabilitation ICU's and medical supplies in this building. There is also the Hogs Bedding Store where we keep hay for the hedgehogs nesting material, along with about 40 outside rehabilitation hutches. There are also various hedgehog soft release gardens where hedgehogs that have gone through rehabilitation spend a short time just before being released back in to the wild.