Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Visit to a hedgehog hospital

Hello. Here is the hedgehog story I mentioned. Last week I went with Helen to a local hedgehog rescue, she is writing an article about it for her village newsletter. It is in the countryside surrounded by woods and fields, a lovely location, and run by Frank and Veronica from their bungalow, with their volunteers to help out as well. Their passion began when they took in three baby hedgehogs and contacted Elaine Drewry from Hedgehog Care, who explained how to look after them. They had to be fed every three hours.
Frank and veronica moved to Appleby and kept in touch with Elaine. Their dedication and passion for hedgehogs continued to grow. They now have two intensive care wards, which are the kitchen and spare room, an A & E department which is a shed donated to them, and the outdoor facility is where the hedgehogs go when they have made good progress to get them ready for release. 
While we were there a hedgehog was delivered to the rescue. It had been found wandering on a busy road. They are not supposed to be out during daylight hours, so if any are found it means they are often poorly and need taking care of. If you find one check with your local vet for the best place to take it.  
This one was given the name Alan, it's a boy, he was weighed, and put into a clean pen with bedding and covered up. Food and water was put in for him.

Frank showed us around, first the A & E department. The patients in here are checked regularly.

 This one had a lot of poo stuck to it, Frank carefully removed it with a piece of kitchen towel.

The storage shed.
New hutches which are full with residents at the moment, all asleep.

 The outdoor area where the hedgehogs get acclimatized to the weather before being released. There are several different sites around the country which are used. After being transported in cat boxes to the location they are put into the wood during daylight hours and later on when it is dark food is put outside and the doors opened. Hedgehogs come out, eat, then hopefully wander off into the woods and freedom.

Alan in the kitchen has come out from his under his blanket to explore and is curious about what is in his food dish.

The hospital is named after Andrew, a hedgehog which was found on a hot summers day in a car park. After a check up by a vet, he was found to be blind, and so will live out his life in care at the hospital.

Here is a link to the web site. Frank and Veronica are coming towards the time they want to retire, Frank is nearly eighty. They have plans for a brand new hospital and are working towards the time when they can hand it over to the next generation of carers. Frank is keen to keep it going, and to be honest I can see him always looking after hedgehogs, even on a foster carer basis.

This is one charity that I am going to keep my eye on, and help in any small way I can.

Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

27 comments:

  1. What a lovely kind couple, it brought tears to my eyes, nice to be kept updated on this one, thou, will check out website.

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  2. Good work with the hedgehog rescue centre and Thanks for sharing your visit ilona and it is good that there are so many caring people in this world.At the moment we are feeding up two adult hedgehogs after their winter sleep and they were courting outside our lounge window the other night.We also are waiting to have four babies returned to us over the next couple of weeks that we took to a local animal rescue centre in November last year that were quiet underweight and too small to hibernate.This rescue centre ended up with over 200 hoglets last winter.When we get the four back we shall have six of them wandering round the garden although our garden has holes in the fence and a wide gap under the back gate for them to use so I don't expect them to stay in my garden but hope they don't get squashed on our village roads...Wendyx

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    1. Hi Wendy. Thank you for looking after the hedgehogs. It's heartbreaking when they come to grief on the roads. I wish people were more careful with their driving, but often it's down to pure bad luck that a car happened to be passing at the moment a hedgehog is crossing.

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    2. Yes it is terrible when they lose their lives on the roads.In our village the youngsters drive like idiots and won't slow down for anyone.When we took the hoglets to the rescue centre we gave donations of money to help with the food that would need to be bought to feed them.We also donated a dustbin bag full of old dog towels and also we asked the shop in our village if we could have any unsold newspapers so we filled our car up and took them over as well.It can't do car tyres much good with having possibly spines in their tread...Wendy

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  3. Lovely! Natalie

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  4. It's heartwarming to see what so many people do in their own ways, to make a difference....thanks for sharing!

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  5. Another interesting post by you. I love the variety of things you write about in your posts. I live in the US and am not sure if there are hedgehog rescues here. I can see the need for small blankets and donated food to keep the rescue going.

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  6. What a wonderful place. Thank you for taking us along!

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  7. Hi, Ilona. You inspired me to make a donation, which I just happily completed. "Ain't international finance wondrous.") No British-style hedgehogs in America. Thank you for your continuing kindness. Elaine ("Ann Telaine" to nephews and nieces, ha-ha.)

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    1. Thank you Elaine, I'm sure your donation will be much appreciated. I gave them cash while I was there, but I plan to make more small donations.

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  8. What a lovely story and what kind people. Thank you for posting this, maybe more people will help them by donation or volunteering. JanF

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  9. Great story! There are extra ordinary human beings to do such great work to rescue animals.

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  10. What wonderful work these people do. I live near the Wildlife Aid Foundation in Surrey which cares for all wildlife and is a charity
    I am more than happy to support. SueM

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  11. Such a lovely couple Frank and Veronica are .They must have helped so many little hedgehogs over the years.As a child I remember my mum and myself seeing a hedgehog in the garden at night and putting a saucer of milk out for it.Now I realize how bad it was for them.I think I heard only water and tinned dog or cat food (also this must not be fish type-but chicken or meat)x

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  12. What a beautiful place! It restores faith in human nature to see such kindness. Sadly we never get any hedgehogs in our garden these days. I saw it on TV that the decline in their numbers in gardens is partly due to homeowners turning their boundaries into Fort Knox with concrete fences, walls, etc and therefore leaving no entry gaps for these little creatures.

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    1. Hi. Yes, that is a problem. My neighbour has put a fence up between our back gardens, and the only way a hedgehog could get through is right in the corner, if it could find it. Thankfully it is open between me and the neighbours on the other side. I much prefer hedges to fences.

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  13. That's so sweet. What nice people. Alan is a great name for a hedgehog. Karen

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  14. I love hedgehogs! People are often amazing too. Good work. x

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  15. What a fantastic post! Donation sent!

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  16. This cheered me up so much. I'm struggling with my husband who has come out of hospital with depression. Thanks Ilona xx

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  17. Interesting post, Ilona! Had Look North on this evening (local BBC news for East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire) and they ran an item on this very hedgehog hospital which has supplied hedgehogs for release in the village of Bishop Fleming, an E.Yorks village. The reporter tried to liberate one but it was obviously sleepy and they are usually let out at dusk when they are more active. A brilliant charity!

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    1. Hi Vick, Thanks. I heard about that but can't watch it, no licence for the BBC.

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  18. Lovely to know people are caring for these delightful animals as they are seriously in decline. I used to see them a lot at night when I lived in a more rural area but in the last few years have only seen one live one. Thank you for posting about this.

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  19. I thought I'd better mention that sometimes you do see hedgehogs out during the day who are not sick. Female hedgehogs often have a place for day naps when their offspring get too big in the nest. They can often have four babies so as they grow there may not enough room for all of them to squish in so the mother takes herself off during the day. We used to foster hedgehogs and overwinter them - at one point having three generations in the garden at the same time - and we often saw the mothers scurrying backwards and forwards between their two nests during the day. If the animal seems disorientated, wandering in circles then yes, pick it up to check it over and get it some help, however, try and release it back from where it came.

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