It’s been a busy few weeks at the Rescue Centre. We’ve been able to release many of our hedgehogs back to the wild where they will hopefully thrive. A very big thank you to all of our foster carers who have brought their hogs in to get checked over before release. And thanks too, to those people who provide our release sites - we hope you’ve enjoyed watching your hogs settle into their new patch!
Back in February we reported that one of the hedgehogs that had spent the winter with us had given birth to three healthy babies. We’re pleased to report that they are all doing well and the youngsters are starting to eat the dry food we put out for the family. The next stage will be to move them to Melrose House, which is our outdoor facility where Patsy will have the opportunity to teach them to forage. We’re looking forward to releasing them in a few weeks time.
On Monday we had a hedgehog brought into us from Scotswood. A gentleman saw a hedgehog struggling to walk up the road with a large gin trap attached to his front leg. Unfortunately the leg may have to be amputated because of the damage that had been done. We’re very grateful to David who rescued the hedgehog and hope that there are no other illegal traps that might injure pets or wildlife.
We had an unusual event at the Rescue Centre earlier this week. We sometimes have to ‘double up’ juvenile hogs of a similar size when they arrive late in the year. They are always monitored carefully to make sure they are compatible. On Monday we discovered that Patsy and Simba, who both arrived on November 24th and were sharing a unit, are VERY compatible. Upon cleaning out the unit we found three babies and believe that Patsy may have delivered more. Simba has now been found another home and we’re making sure that mum and babies are not disturbed for a while. We’re hoping for a good outcome and hope she enjoys her new role as a first time mum.
During 2018, we had nearly 660 sick and injured hedgehogs admitted to the Rescue Centre. That’s the highest number of hogs we’ve ever looked after. Of course, it’s impossible to say whether that means that hedgehog numbers are increasing or whether members of the public are more aware of what they can do to help these endangered animals. Either way, we’re very grateful to all those who brought hedgehogs into us to be cared for - and to all of those who supported the Trust in other ways. We’re looking forward to 2019 being another record year!
Members of the public who find a hedgehog and bring it into the Centre often want to know how ‘their’ hedgehog is getting on. We now have a dedicated e mail for anyone wanting to get an update. The e mail address is email@example.com.
How often do we ask ourselves where the time has gone? Well, here at the Northumbrian Hedgehog Rescue Trust we are doing just that, and nobody more than our dedicated leader and Head of the Trust Carole Catchpole. Many of you will know Carole personally but she has dedicated the last 20 years of her life to saving and caring for hedgehogs for the past twenty years and what she has achieved in this peaceful corner of Northumberland is truly remarkable.
Carole started the charity and without her tenacity and truly selfless work it would not exist today. Over the years the tireless and consistent work we do here, which is funded entirely by the generosity of those who donate to us, has been recognised and rewarded in various ways and has gained respect amongst those who have cared to take a closer interest. These rewards are fitting but the greatest reward of all is watching a struggling hedgehog come into our care, be nursed, regain its strength, get fit and well and then stride out into the wilds to roam freely.
To all of our supporters, from all of us at the Trust, thank you for making the work that we do possible and for your continued support. Happy 20th year to all the volunteers at NHRT!
The Department for Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has recently approved the use of the A24 trap in England and we are very concerned.
The traps are sold to kill hedgehogs (amongst other species) in New Zealand where hedgehogs are non-native and therefore considered a ‘pest’ species.
Following DEFRA approval, the traps can now be used in the UK (pending in Wales and Scotland).
In our country hedgehogs are a protected species through being listed on Schedule 6 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act. Explicitly they may not be trapped without a licence. This means that if a trap is set, albeit intended for something else, and it catches a hedgehog, then the person who set the trap can be prosecuted. Anyone setting traps for ‘vermin’ or non-protected species is obliged to take all reasonable precautions to avoid catching a protected species, since there are no ‘reasonable precautions’ to avoid catching hedgehogs using this trap, anyone who sets them is at risk of prosecution if they catch a hedgehog. It is no defence in law to say that the catch was unintentional.
We call on DEFRA to withdraw approval of the use of these traps immediately so that they are not able to impact upon our already dwindling hedgehog population.
What can you do?
Please sign our petition here, calling for the Government to withdraw its approval of this trap. The deadline is 1st June.
If you would like to make your voice heard, alongside ours, please contact the minister responsible directly by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by post:
Dr Thérèse Coffey,
17 Smith Square,
London SW1P 3JR
As well as this, try contacting your local MP about this issue.
Thanks for helping hedgehogs!
We are proud to have been selected as one of Co-op Rothbury's Local Community Fund causes. You can now help us by simply shopping in store and choosing Northumbrian Hedgehog Rescue Trust as your nominated charity.
We are celebrating the successes of one of our most loyal young volunteers. Lisa joined us in 2009 when she was doing her Bronze Duke of Edinburgh and came every Sunday without fail. Lisa also completed her Silver and Gold awards whilst helping at NHRT and, when she finally went to University as we always knew she would, this dedicated young lady still continued volunteering when home on vacation. Lisa was always very enthusiastic and such an asset to the Centre - even suggesting she could come earlier in a morning than was originally agreed. Lisa has recently graduated from Sheffield Hallam University for product design and won a prestigious award in London for new designers. Following the award she has been offered a job working for Kingfisher in London and the world is now her oyster! We are all absolutely thrilled for her and she deserves every success as she puts her heart and soul into anything she tackles.
Lisa has promised to come and see us whenever she can and, of course, we do hope she will be able to attend the Christmas shindig when we all have a lovely meal and relaxing time together. Well done Lisa; you’re a fine example for the younger generation, thanks for all the hedgie-care you have provided over the years and you can come and put in a shift any time!
One of our younger volunteers has been exhibiting his talents by writing about his life as a volunteer at NHRT and the care the dedicated volunteers give the hedgehogs. What's more talented Isaac Mills was winner of the Letter of the Month in the BBC's Wildlife magazine in June. Isaac won a pair of waterproof boots for his letter which highlighted the great care that the Northumbrian Hedgehog Rescue Trust provides and also succeeded in highlighting the plight of the endangered hedgehog. Well done all round Isaac!
We would like to renew our thanks to the customers and staff of both the Co-op Supermarket and Wilkinsons, both in Alnwick, for their continued support of our work and in helping the hogs. Your generosity means that we get a small donation of either cash, food or other useful items every month and that steady trickle is greatly appreciated by all the volunteers and the patients at Longframlington. Thanks for your continued support, we hope it continues!
We are very lucky to have a number of other dedicated businesses quietly supporting our cause too, some of whom have done so for a number of years. We extend our thanks to them and will be giving some of them a special mention in the coming months too! Hats off to you all and to your generous customers. You really do allow us to make a difference to the lives of so many of our little spikey chums.