Here at the Hundred House we don’t just create a fabulously relaxing environment for our human guests to enjoy, we’ve become quite popular with the local wildlife too! Our head gardener Libby found these little fellows a few days ago. They’re quite small, so we think they may be young that have been orphaned. Obviously, we didn’t want to get too involved, in case Mum was around, and was put off by our interfering, but they did look terribly vulnerable.
Libby decided to make somewhere warm, and safe for them using one of her gardening trugs and some straw borrowed from Donk the donkey. We also put out some cat food for them to eat (the old bread and milk thing is a myth, hedgehogs need protein), and kept a distant, but watchful eye on them.
As the days went by, there was no sign of any other hedgehogs, and it did seem that these chaps were on their own. They were looking quite poorly, and we made the decision to take them to Cuan Wildlife Rescue, who are the only twenty-four-hour rescue in Shropshire. The team at Cuan are amazing people, and are experts in caring for all kinds of wildlife, as well as being experienced in Hedgehog rehabilitation. We checked up on our little hogs last week, and all is going well, and they will be back in the wild as soon as they are ready.
Some hedgehog facts
- Hedgehogs are known by several different names. Their scientific name is Erinaceinae, in Lincolnshire they are known as Hotchin, and West Country folk refer to them as Furze-pig.
- They live for between two and five years
- Hedgehogs have about 5000 spines. After a year each spine will drop out, and be replaced by a new one.
- They weigh less than a bag of sugar!
- Hedgehogs make a variety of sounds. When they are happy they purr, a courting pair will be heard making chirping or squeaking noises, and an angry, or fed up hedgehog will click or hiss at you!
What to do if you find a hedgehog in your garden
Hedgehogs are endangered. Research shows they have declined by 30% in the last ten years. There are less than a million left in the u.k.
How can you help?
- Think about alternatives to slug pellets. They’re great at killing slugs, but also great at killing other wildlife. Eating a slug that has been killed by chemicals will kill a hedgehog. The best alternative I’ve found is marmite!
- Create a hedgehog house. Just a simple space with warm bedding and away from people will give them somewhere to rest during the day, so they are ready to forage at night. Something with more shelter will give them somewhere safe to hibernate over winter.
- Put out supplementary food and water. This is especially important when the weather is dry, and their normal food may be in short supply. You can try cat or dog food, or dried fruit. Just avoid the bread and milk!
More information can be found at
You can read more about the work that Cuan Wildlife Rescue do on their web page http://www.cuanwildliferescue.org.uk/