Hornbeam Wood Hedgehog Sanctuary received a release guidance report from Sharon, British Hedgehog Preservation Society today with an updated September 2018 report on where rehabilitated hedgehogs should be released.
The British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS), British Wildlife Rehabilitation Council (BWRC), The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), Vale Wildlife Hospital (VWH) and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) put their heads together with Dr Nigel Reeve and Dr Pat Morris to come up with a guide for rehabilitators that all collaborators are happy to put their name to. This document is a result of that collaboration, and is based on detailed research by Dr Nigel Reeve and Dr Pat Morris, published in major research journals.
Keep It Local:
To ensure success of a release back in to the wild, multiple hedgehogs should not be released into one area (unless they originated there).
There are exceptions to this though. Such exceptions may include hedgehogs that have been brought in, for example, from a garden where a dog attacked it; we would then advise release in the same area, but not in that garden.
Sometimes no information is available for the exact site the hedgehog was found; even if it’s just the general area. If this is not possible and the hedgehog has been given a clean bill of health, it should be released into the locality it is likely to have come from and into the same habitat type (e.g. suburban or rural etc.) as long as the area has a known population of hedgehogs and plenty of food, water and nesting opportunities. If the hedgehog has been rescued from a development site, select a large area of suitable habitat nearby.
Releasing hedgehogs in sites other than where they were found could have negative impacts on local hedgehog populations with competition for food and nesting habitat. This may displaceor impact upon other wildlife; for instance, predation of ground nesting birds has been seen to be a serious issue in some habitats, and the potential ramifications of an unplanned release could be disastrous for the local ecosystem and other species of conservation concern.
Do You Have A Hedgehog Release Site?
We are looking for hedgehog release sites! The suburban or rural release sites must be located in or close to the following local areas Harpenden, Kimpton, Wheathampstead, Ayot, Lemsford, Sandridge, Codicote, East Hyde, and Luton (South East Side). See inside brown circle on the map below.
We are looking for terrain that has hedgerows, woodlands, rivers, large ponds, and large urban areas. Walled areas are no good even if the site is large. Please contact us if you think you have a suitable release location.