01932 889182

When to call

Unnecessarily rescuing a hedgehog can cause problems due to stress and fear.  Please use this page as a guide, but if you are uncertain, call us.

Not local to Shepperton? The British Hedgehog Preservation Society have a list of rescuers near you, call them on 01584 890801.

DAYLIGHT

Hedgehogs are nocturnal and should not be out in daylight hours.

Hedgehogs out in daylight hours are at risk of attack by magpies and crows. Wounds may become infected and lead to more serious health problems so it is important that we act quickly.

BABIES

Young hedgehogs live in nests with their mothers and should not venture out on their own.

Do not feed young hedgehogs milk, but get them to an expert as soon as possible.

INJURED

If you find a hedgehog that looks injured please call us. If you need to pick the hedgehog up, do so carefully to avoid further injury and place in a high-sided box. Keep it warm and quiet and offer a shallow bowl of water.

If you do not have a local wildlife shelter or sanctuary, take the hedgehog to  see a vet.

ASLEEP IN THE OPEN

Hedgehogs sleep in nests or sheltered under bushes or piles of leaves. A hedgehog asleep in the open is vulnerable.

Please call immediately if you find a hedgehog sleeping unsheltered.

WHEN NOT TO CALL

Hedgehogs in nests do not usually need any help from us. If the nest has been uncovered, recover it with leaves.

If you find a nest full of babies it is likely that mum is out looking for food and will return shortly. Do not disturb the baby hedgehogs or nest.

If you are unsure of what to do upon encountering a hedgehog, contact your local wildlife rescue centre.

 
 

Supplementary feeding

As hedgehogs are nocturnal, the best time to put food out for them is just after dusk. The most importnant time of year to provide supplementary food for hedgehogs is autumn and winter as they are preparing for hibernation

Do...

  • Provide access to clean water in a shallow dish (rainwater if possible)

  • Provide cat or dog food (can be dry biscuits as well as cans of wet food)

  • Provide apple

  • Provide egg (they LOVE this)

  • Provide hedgehog food if you can afford to. It is available from some garden centres or online, generally called ‘Spikes’ or ‘Ark’. This is perfect for them as it has been made specifically for their needs

  • If you leave food every night at the same time they will return again and again and if your garden is suitable may have their babies there too

Don't....

  • Provide water in a deep bowl that they may struggle to reach or get stuck in

  • Give hedgehogs dried mealworms, as too many can harm them

  • Give hedgehogs peanuts or sunflower seeds as they cause metabolic bone disease in hedgehogs (dried mealworms also cause this disease)

  • Give hedgehogs bread

  • Give hedgehogs milk

Making your garden hedgehog friendly

  • Ensure hedgehogs have access to neighbours’ gardens and open areas by making holes 12cm in diameter in your garden's boundaries.

  • If you have a problem with cats taking the food you put out for your hogs, you can easily make a feeding station -  an upturned plastic storage box with a 12cm diameter entrance hole cut in one end will do the trick.

  • Encourage people to plant up or leave a wild area for hedgehogs to shelter or nest in.

  • Supervise dogs if letting them out in the  garden at night so they won't attack or scare hogs, and advise others to do the same.

  • Check long grass before strimming or mowing to ensure you don't injure a hedgehog or other animals.

  • Refrain from using slug pellets which are extremely poisonous to all wildlife.

  • If you have a pond, ensure there is some way for animals to climb out if they find themselves in the water.

  • Plant native plants such as poppies and bluebells to attract the insects that hedgehogs eat and to provide them with shelter in which to build a nest. More information on native plants can be found here.

  • Wildflower areas, shrubs and hedges will attract insects and also provide cover for hedgehogs.

  • Don’t use netting anywhere in the garden as hedgehogs could get tangled.

  • Purpose-built hedgehog houses for your garden are available to purchase through Shepperton Hedgehog Sanctuary - read below for more information!

 

Buy or make a hedgehog house

Purchasing or making a hedgehog house for your garden to encourage hedgehogs to pay you a visit. We sell hedgehog houses for £25, much cheaper than other online stores, or you can make your own by following an online tutorial. Hedgehog houses provide hogs with a dry shelter that they will fill with bedding themselves. Make sure you don't put any food in a hedgehog house as you don't want it to expire. Its better to put food in a hedgehog feeding station - more on that below!

If you are interested in purchasing a hedgehog house please call us on 01934 889182 

 

Build your own feeding station

Building your own feeding station is a great way to encourage hedgehogs into your garden and help local populations! Watch the video on the left to find out how....

To make one you will need:

  • Plastic storage box (35 L works well)

  • Tape measure

  • Permanent marker

  • Hand saw

  • Brick

  • Bowl for food

  • Place the plastic box upside down and draw a hole (5 inch diameter) on the box rim with the permanent marker.

  • Use the saw to cut around the hole you have drawn (you may wish to heat the plastic up with a hair dryer before this step to soften it).

  • Place a brick inside the upside down box in front of the hedgehog hole, and place a bowl of food behind it. The brick will stop any cats or foxes getting in. Only hedgehogs will go around the brick to get to the food.

  • Smooth the edges of the hole by sanding or lining with tape.

  • Weight the box down so that foxes can't get in.

 
 

Could you set up a hedgehog sanctuary of your own?

In the last year two local sanctuaries have closed down, one of which cared for nearly 100 hedgehogs. This has put extra pressure on us, and as we are only a small sanctuary, we encourage others to consider first-hand hedgehog care.

If you feel like you have the resources and are able to, we really recommend taking in some unwell hedgehogs to care for them. If you do not feel confident in doing this, Vale Wildlife Hospital and Rehabilitation Centre run a fantastic course on First Aid, Care & Rehabilitation of Hedgehogs which should give you a wealth of knowledge (link here). Rehabilitating hedgehogs is such important and rewarding work, and even small sanctuaries like ours can make a huge difference.

If you have any questions or queries about starting a rehabilitation centre or sanctuary of your own, please feel free to contact us via facebook, email or phone.