Are you interested in wildlife? Could you help with the preservation of one of our nation’s most endearing yet most endangered animals, the hedgehog? If so here are a number of ways you can become involved.

OFFER YOUR TIME

Enjoy time spent at close quarters caring for these sick and injured animals. The centre is open 365 days of the year and we need people every morning to take part in the daily care of the hogs. You will enjoy the satisfaction of caring for the hedgehogs and appreciate the privilege of working with these fabulous animals giving them a second chance by providing them with the opportunity to once again be released into the wild or into a safe garden.

To enable this, a rota system is required and Lynn Rose organises the assistants, (with a time to suit you) in order to give the maximum care. 

Please contact Lynn if you are interested on 01665 570538 or email Lynn on volunteers@hedgehogs-northumbria.org.uk. Please note that volunteers must be aged 16 years or over.

HELP WITH SUPPLIES

If time is a problem for you, you could help us by providing some of the essential items that we use to care for the hedgehogs. We would be delighted to accept any of the following supplies:

  • Newspapers which are used daily to provide fresh bedding so a regular supply is therefore essential. If you can find the time newspapers torn into half inch strips then separated, fluffed up to make a cosy warm bed we would be most grateful and delivered in bags would be great. Please remember to remove any staples first as these will injure the hogs as will machine shredded paper.

  • Thick rubber gloves, e.g. gardening gloves, would be really useful as all the volunteers use these when handling the hedgehogs.

  • Large heavy duty plastic bags.

  • Dettol and washing up liquid.

  • If you can provide any printing services we can provide you with the forms and documents that we use on a daily basis and any help with these costs would be gratefully received.

  • Any donations of food for the hedgehogs would be very gratefully received. The hogs at our Centre are predominantly fed on mealworms, hedgehog biscuits, dry hedgehog food and meat based cat (or dog) food that is in jelly. Please do not offer fish based food as this is of no use to hedgehogs.

  • A link to our Amazon Wishlist can be found below

FOSTERING

Why not offer to foster a hedgehog? Hedgehogs that are offered for fostering are in good health – not sick or injured - and would normally be cared from the fosterer’s home between autumn and spring, during which time (over the winter) the hedgehog will be likely to hibernate.

As a fosterer you would provide your own equipment to accommodate and feed the hedgehog but on no account should you treat the hedgehog as a pet. Should the hedgehog develop any ailment it should be returned to our Centre for treatment by a vet.

In the spring you would return the hedgehog to us, for release into the wild. What a reward, to know that you have helped in some small way to preserve this species for future generations.

Anyone interested in fostering a hedgehog should contact us.  

 ADOPTING

Adopting a hedgehog is another way that you can help.

For a minimum amount of £20 adopting can be a satisfying way of helping, and can also make an interesting and unusual gift. You would receive a short history of how your hedgehog came to us, a certificate, a thank you card, and a photograph of your hedgehog.

You can pay by Mydonate or Paypal. Please register your interest by e-mailing adoptions@hedgehogs-northumbria.org.uk. It will take us only a few days to process your request.

If you would like further details please contact us and we would be happy to help you choose your hedgehog.

 RELEASE SITES AND SAFE GARDENS

We aim to release all of the hedgehogs we care for back into their natural habitat in the wild.

Could you provide a release site? All that is required is for hedgehogs to already be in the area and you should be willing to provide food and water to encourage hedgehogs to visit and provide the released hogs with the best possible start to their new life back in the wild.

Sometimes it is impossible to release hogs back into the wild as they might fail to thrive, for example if a hog has had a serious injury. In these circumstances the best option is release into a safe garden where the hog will be protected. In this case the site would need to be suitable for hedgehogs and you would need to provide food and water daily.

Could you offer help to a hedgehog in need? If so, contact us and we will gladly speak to you about the options. Before you do though please consider the following as we will ask you these questions when we speak to you:

1. Do you already have hedgehogs in your garden?

2. Are hedgehogs able to wander freely in and out of your garden?

3. Do you already provide food and water for your hedgehogs?

4. If not, would you be willing to supplement their natural diet with food and water?

5. Does your garden have trees, hedges, shrubs and general undergrowth where hedgehogs would find suitable nesting areas and materials?

6. Do you have sheds, decking or outbuildings under which hedgehogs may choose to build a nest?

7. Do you have rough areas/woodland on your property or nearby?

8. Are rough areas left natural or managed using garden machinery?

9. Is there any evidence of badgers in the area?

10. Are there any cattle grids nearby and, if so, do they have inbuilt escape ramps?

11. Are there any ponds/lakes on your property or nearby?

12. Is there any evidence of dogs or cats known to dislike wildlife in the area?

13. If possible, would you be able to send a few digital photographs of the proposed release area?