Sometimes at the Haven, we have hedgehogs who are nursed back to health, but cannot be released back into the wild. There are many reasons why this may be the case. Some may have only three legs, some may be blind, some may need that extra bit of help. If we believe the hedgehog may struggle if released back into the wild then we will not do so. Instead we advertise for people with safe and secure gardens who are happy to rehome our hogs.
Suitable gardens need to have gravel board foundations or a brick wall around the entire area, as Hedgehogs are good climbers and may be able to climb or dig under less secure fences. Gardens need to be at least 50ft square to allow the Hedgehog plenty of exercise, and be filled with grass, shrubs and wild areas for foraging. Garden ponds will either need to be covered or have ledges or pots enabling a safe escape should the hedgehog fall in. We also ask that you are located close to the Colchester or Frinton areas.
You will need to be able to provide a suitable nest box and fresh food and water everyday.
We also have hedgehogs that are fit to be released back into the wild, but cannot go back to the area they were found. This may be due to busy roads, unsafe ponds, use of slug pellets or badgers living close by. These hogs need 'safe gardens' in which they can be released into. It is important these gardens are not enclosed so that the hedgehog can eventually wander off to find a new home. You will however need to provide food and water for a few days until this happens.
If you think you would like to offer a home to a hedgehog, please contact us using the details on the contacts page. Due to financial and staffing interests, we ask that anyone considering rehoming or releasing a hedgehog, lives within 10 miles of Colchester or Frinton unless you are willing to use your own transport to collect your hedgehog.
If you live outside of the Essex area and would like to help, we will pass your details on to other hedgehog rescue centres closer to your home.
We are looking for volunteers to foster our hedgehogs during the winter months.
We will provide you with hibernation cages and ask that they are placed in an unheated shed, greenhouse or garage with natural daylight. It would not be acceptable to keep a hedgehog in a dark environment 24 hours a day even during hibernation. If a greenhouse is used you must ensure the temperature does not get too hot during sunny days.
Whilst awake the hedgehog will need to be cleaned out every morning as they are nocturnal. If youíve not cared for a hedgehog before you will be surprised just how smelly, and how much mess they can make in one night! Therefore, a clean bed for the day is essential.
You will need to weigh and record his weight weekly on a sheet provided. Any weight loss should be reported asap. You can cease weighing once the hedgehog is hibernating.
Advice on your hogs diet will be given when you collect him. Those that are being fed tinned meat should be fed at dusk. (This will prevent attracting flies) Continue feeding as advised until he stops eating. This probably means he is now in hibernation and you will only need supply him with a few good quality cat biscuits incase he wakes for a snack. The biscuits should be changed weekly (or when they go soft). Donít forget fresh water should be available at all times.
The hog box should be checked daily even when hibernating. Some will wake several times during hibernation to eat a few biscuits, have a drink or defecate! Not all hedgehogs hibernate, donít worry it just means you have to continue to clean them out, and feed them daily.
All hedgehogs must then be returned to us at the ĎHavení in the spring. From there they will be released back into the wild in safe areas that have been checked by ĎHavení volunteers. Due to financial and staffing interests, we ask that fosterers live within 10 miles of Colchester or Frinton unless you are willing to use your own transport to collect / return your hedgehog.
Please contact us if you would like to help.