I've found a hedgehog in need of help

Please read though this page to find out ways to help the hedgehog. There are a number of things to look out for when a hedgehog is in trouble.

Please note, we can only rescue hedgehogs if you are within driving distance from Harpenden in Hertfordshire


What to do if you find a hedgehog in need of help:

1. Pick up the hedgehog with gloves on your hands, or wrap a towel or some old newspaper around it. Never use your bare hands

2. Put the hedgehog inside a box that has high sides to it as hedgehogs can climb! Ensure the box has air vents in it by poking lots of holes towards the top of the box with a pencil. You can also use a pet carrier if you have one to hand.

3. Put a few old towels in the box for the hedgehog to snuggle up in.

4. Place a hot water bottle under the towels or wrap a towel around a plastic bottle filled with hot water in it.

5. Then put the box in a warm place that is quiet but not in direct sunlight.  Place a with a shallow bowl of water in the box.

Now it's time to get help for the hedgehog. The sooner you can get help for the hedgehog, the better the chances it will survive.

PLEASE NOTE: If you have found baby hoglets (without a mother, or if they have been disturbed) please do not handle them. Call for help ASAP.

​If you are not local to us, or do not hear back from us within 30mins (if you left an answer phone message) please contact the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) on 01584 890801. They can give you advice and also put you in contact with a hedgehog rescue centre local to you.

If you have found a hedgehog that needs help and you are located close enough to drive to Harpenden in Hertfordshire, please call us on 07999 573513 (10am-6pm any day of the week). Never contact us for hedgehog rescues by email, social message, or any other contact means as we do not monitor them all the time.


A hedgehog will likely need help if it...

...was found out during the day.
...was found out during the winter period, especially if snow or frost.
...is wobbling, limping, or swaying.
...is smaller than a tennis ball in size when curled up.
...has blood on it.
...is lying flat on its side.
...is vomiting.
...is coughing.
...is trapped in netting, a hole, or a pond/swimming pool.

The following examples show hedgehogs in obvious need of help.  This is not a definitive list, but includes the majority of common injuries that hedgehogs suffer from, or need help with.


Flystrike is more common during the Spring/Summer months. It is fly eggs / larvae usually between the fur on a hedgehog. Often around the face area, but also near wounded areas of the body.

Open wounds

Open wounds on a hedgehog from injuries such as bites or gashes.  Often from larger mammals, these injuries can become infected even if they are small.

Emaciated or dehydrated

The hedgehog on the left is underweight, thin, and oval shaped when curled up.  The hedgehog on the right is a healthy hedgehog much rounder and plump.  Often hedgehogs become thirsty during the spring / summer months and hungry during the autumn / winter months. But, this could happen at any time during the year.

Strimmer or lawnmower injuries

Strimmer and lawnmower injuries can be fatal but often the hedgehog will survive and wonder about with the sustained injuries.  It is a good indication that the hedgehog has sustained this type of injury when spines have been cut from the hedgehog.  The hedgehog will often also sustain large gashed open wounds, but not always. Sometimes the injuries are not obvious to sight but internal such as fractured bones.

Trapped legs or feet

One of the most common injuries hedgehogs sustain are leg injuries.  This can happen in so many ways but often their legs have been trapped in something like netting or a fence, or they have been bitten by a larger mammal.  These injuries will likely mean the hedgehog will limp or wobble.  Infections are likely, and is usually the cause of their death if not rescued.

Eye injuries

Hedgehogs can suffer injuries to the eyes from fights with other mammals and also as a result from infections from other head injuries that are not obvious.  Often when a hedgehog has sustained a car injury and survived they have this type of injury.  Sometimes one or both eyes could be covered with mucus which blocks their vision. If the hedgehog is totally blind they will often be out during the day and might be bumping in to things.

Trapped in a pond or swimming pool

Although hedgehogs can swim, if become trapped in a pond or a swimming pool they will be exhausted and will eventually drown.  The hedgehog will also likely be extremely cold and be suffering from hypothermia.

Orphaned hoglets

When a hoglet (a baby hedgehog) is found that is smaller than a tennis ball when curled up, they will often need help.  These are normally orphaned or have recently wondered away from their nest.  If the hoglet has black and white spines, or is pink skinned, they will need urgent help if alone.

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Hornbeam Wood Hedgehog Sanctuary will use the data you provide in the subscribe form, to contact you. This information will not be shared with any third party and you will only be contacted with information relevant to the work undertaken by Hornbeam Wood Hedgehog Sanctuary.

Data protection: For information on how we process and store your data please refer to our privacy policy.

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