Give a hog a home

Not a Blashford Lakes blog on this occasion, but relevant, close to “home” and possibly of interest to many of our followers / readers.

I received a telephone call yesterday from our friends at Moyles Court, just down the road from Blashford, who operate a wildlife rescue hospital and have done so incredibly successfully for several years now.

We have worked closely with them since they moved in and converted their old farm house home into the wildlife hospital that it is today, both seeking their aid with the care for injured wildlife found on the nature reserve and also, where appropriate, permitting the release of rehabilitated wildlife onto the reserve.

Carla and Mike who manage and run the charity and hospital are both truly inspiring individuals, 100% committed to, and passionate about, caring for and subsequently releasing the wild animals in their care and Carla in particular, within the right circles, has an unrivalled reputation for her ability to make sick or injured birds well again that is truly second to none.

Last autumn they took in an incredible number of malnourished young hedgehogs who were not in a fit state to hibernate and they have been nurturing them over-winter. Said hedgehogs are now fit and needing to be released back into the wild – in part because that is the right place for them and in part because the Spring and early Summer is usually a particularly busy time at the wildlife hospital and Carla and Mike need the room for the anticipated influx.

Hence Mikes telephone call to me yesterday.

If you  think that you have a garden that it would be appropriate and safe to release one of their many hedgehogs into, could you please get in touch with them to have a chat and find out if you can help them out and “give a hog a home”? Mike can be contacted on 07884 226540 or alternatively call 01425 477500 to speak to Mike or Carla.

Things to bear in mind when considering the suitability of your garden are the following (text copied with thanks from the Wildlife Aid Foundation website):

  • The most important factor when releasing hedgehogs into the wild is that the area already supports a hedgehog population. If there are no hedgehogs in your area then there is usually a good reason for this, and we do not want to release our youngsters in an area where they may not survive, or may not find mates.
  • There must be suitable cover and an adequate food source.
  • If there is a pond it must have shallow sloping sides, or ramp/stones that will assist a hedgehog in climbing out.
  • There should be no chain link fence in your garden – hedgehogs frequently get their heads caught in this and cannot reverse out.
  • Your garden must be unsecure. Ideally an able-bodied hog would be able to roam and prefers an area of up to an acre for its territory (about 8 average sized gardens), and Mike and Carla are looking for gardens that allow hedgehogs to roam freely.

Mike was hopeful that we would have enough likeminded and interested readers – possibly with a little more time on their hands than usual at the moment – that they would soon be able to release all the hedgehogs that they have ready to leave. There are plenty of good DIY hedgehog homes online if you really want to go for it too – including this one on the Wildlife Trusts website: how to build a hedgehog home 

Hopefully I don’t need to say this, but will do so just in case, these animals are not being rehomed as pets; the hedgehog may choose to take itself off as soon as it arrives, preferring the flavour of the slugs down the road as opposed to yours! However by offering to share your garden you can very much play a vital role in their work to get the animals back into the wild as soon as possible.

Contact Mike or Carla by telephone on 07884 226540 or 01425 477500.



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