Hornbeam Wood Hedgehog Sanctuary is located on the same lands that made up Grahame Dangerfield's Animal Sanctuary and still uses many of the original pens and cages.

Grahame Dangerfield was a involved with the rescue of Wildlife. He was also an author and broadcaster, and presenter. In the 1960s he was one of the first British television naturalists, and was largely involved with rescued British wildlife.

In 1965 Grahame left Britain to work in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. In the 1970s, he opened a private zoo at Wheathampstead. Dangerfield was the author of a number of books about nature, including The Unintended Zoo (1965) and The Rajah of Bong and Other Owls (1981). He lived in Kenya in later life and passed away on 13th July 2018 at the age of 80.

Grahame returned to England very briefly some years ago as he was undergoing medical treatment.  Martin who had also at the time recently returned from working and living in Africa, was very fortunate to have spent a little time with Grahame before his death. They both watched birds together at the Sanctuary that were in the same nest boxes Grahame had put up in the late 1980s.



Naturalist, Graham Dangerfield at home in Hertfordshire.



When Martin was a child In the 1980's he worked at the family smallholding tending goats, cows, pigs, chickens, and ducks. Living close to Grahame in Wheathampstead as a child, Martin was often at Grahame Dangerfield's Animal Sanctuary assisting with the care of Wildlife.  It was a hobby he loved and enjoyed.

Martin Feeding Cows at Family Smallholding

As a child, Martin started to rescue local Wildlife including one of the Queens Swans in 1981. He rescued the Swan from the River Lea in Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire. Martin was very honoured to have received a letter sent to him from the Lady-in-waiting, on behalf of the Queen.

Letter from The Queen - 1981.png

A few years later in 1988, Martin rescued his first British Wild Hedgehog and embarked on a mission to help the hedgehogs. Assisting his mother (Harriet), the two them began with making their garden Hedgehog friendly, helping local Wild Hedgehogs.

Martin also enjoyed watching wildlife shows on TV and saw a program filmed at the House of Commons. He contacted the House of Commons to let them know what he had also been doing to help the hedgehogs. At the age of 12, Martin invited Robert B. Jones, M.P. to visit his new Hedgehog friendly garden and received this letter.

Letter from Robert Jones MP - House of C

Martin spent a lot of time helping Grahame Dangerfield during the 1980's with rescued wild animals that were saved and cared for.

After being contacted by The Wildlife Hospital Trust in 1988 (now known as www.sttiggywinkles.org.uk) with a raft of information sent to him about how to help local Wild Hedgehogs, he went on to spread awareness to local residents in Wheathampstead with a view to encourage others to also help the hedgehogs. He did this by promoting ways people could help the hedgehogs by making their gardens Hedgehog Friendly.

Letter from The Wildlife Hospital Trust
Animal Sanctuary Beware - Other Colour Pics Share This Title (1964)
British Pathé

Animal Sanctuary Beware - Other Colour Pics Share This Title (1964)

Redbourne, Hertfordshire. Several shots show some tiny and extremely cute fox cubs being weighed on a table, while Grahame Dangerfield makes a note of each one; a girl, Betty Darvel, feeds one of them with a long pipette full of milk. Grahame brushes a cub while the others sit with a black dog. Other animals seen at Grahame's animal sanctuary are a pelican, a kinkajou (mongoose type animal), Bob the badger, a gannet, geese, a snowy owl, a lovely baby deer (a Muntjac), a South American Ocelot, a Mynah bird, a polecat-ferret, and a buzzard (?). Most of the animals were offered to Grahame by viewers of his television programme. We see Grahame releasing a swan back onto a river, while Betty Darvel watches with Freda, the tame fox. Note: there is correspondence on file plus notes from Grahame Dangerfield on the animals seen. Cuts exist - see separate record. FILM ID:289.07 A VIDEO FROM BRITISH PATHÉ. EXPLORE OUR ONLINE CHANNEL, BRITISH PATHÉ TV. IT'S FULL OF GREAT DOCUMENTARIES, FASCINATING INTERVIEWS, AND CLASSIC MOVIES. http://www.britishpathe.tv/ FOR LICENSING ENQUIRIES VISIT http://www.britishpathe.com/ British Pathé also represents the Reuters historical collection, which includes more than 136,000 items from the news agencies Gaumont Graphic (1910-1932), Empire News Bulletin (1926-1930), British Paramount (1931-1957), and Gaumont British (1934-1959), as well as Visnews content from 1957 to the end of 1984. All footage can be viewed on the British Pathé website. https://www.britishpathe.com/
Wild British Hedgehog Rescue Introduction - Hornbeam Wood Hedgehog Sanctuary
Hornbeam Wood Hedgehog Sanctuary

Wild British Hedgehog Rescue Introduction - Hornbeam Wood Hedgehog Sanctuary

This is an introduction to Hornbeam Wood Hedgehog Sanctuary. Briefly going through what we do and the troubles hedgehogs face. This video has been cut from a Live Stream so has a few bits where I refer to the live chat, sorry I'm just not that talented at video editing...yet...! --------------------------------------------------------------------- HORNBEAM WOOD HEDGEHOG SANCTUARY 🦔🐾🐾🐾🐾: A family run Charity that looks after European Wild Hedgehogs. We use 100% of income generated from our shop and from donations to help the hedgehogs. Setup in April 2015, based in Harpenden, Hertfordshire. Mother and son are involved on a daily basis rescuing, rehabilitating, and releasing hedgehogs back in to the wild. The Charity rehabilitates wild hedgehogs and hoglets that are sick, injured, underweight. Registered Charity No. 1190048 We hope to use this platform to spread awareness and help promote ways you can help British Wild Hedgehogs. Donate to us through our Paypal Giving Fund (Please check Gift Aid if UK tax payer): https://www.paypal.com/gb/fundraiser/charity/4046519 More ways to support us: https://www.hornbeamwood.org.uk/support-hedgehog-charity Subscribe to our news letter for the latest updates: https://www.hornbeamwood.org.uk/hedgehog-news-subscriptions --------------------------------------------------------------------- WHY HAS THE UK WILD HEDGEHOG POPULATION DECLINED SO MUCH SINCE THE YEAR 2000? The Wild British Hedgehog has been included in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List for British Mammals. Their population has decreased by about 30% in urban areas and 50% in rural areas since the year 2000. As of 2020, it is estimated (PTES) that up to 335k hedgehogs are killed each year on the roads. Their habitats have been diminishing and their inability to access and travel though gardens and across roads has become in most cases, impossible. Roads create invisible barriers and also physical barriers for hedgehogs. The use of poisons like slug pellets, and intensive agricultural farming also have a part to play in their decreased populations though the loss of hedges and pesticides. --------------------------------------------------------------------- #hedgehog #cam #hoglets #wild #ukmammals #hwhs #hedgehogsanctuary #harpenden #hertfordshire #charity
Hornbeam Wood Hedgehog Sanctuary - MM.jpg


Later in life Martin moved abroad working and living in various countries including the United States of America, Canada, and Africa. He returned to England around 2013 and moved back to his home town in Hertfordshire.

Martin, now runs Hornbeam Wood Hedgehog Sanctuary continuing on from Grahame caring for wildlife, concentrating on British Wild Hedgehogs.  Working with The British Hedgehog Preservation Society, The Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, and local Councils. He also encourages the next generation to help the hedgehogs through educational and awareness talks to groups of children from Schools, Scouts, and Girlguiding.

Photo of Martin credit: https://www.instagram.com/gretazabulyte