In February we the Seven Hills Women's Institute members were joined by Alison and Julia from Wath Hedgehog Rescue & Rehabilitation. Our hearts were melted with tales of the hogs and hoglets that have passed through their doors, some who have left for pastures new, and others who didn't make it.
Alison and Julia and the other members of the Wath Hedgehog rescue group work tirelessly to care for and find adopted homes for injured hedgehogs and raise money for the charity.
We were shocked and saddened to hear that hedgehog numbers are on a steep decline and are now vulnerable to extinction. Tips that were shared with us included:
Before gardening, check your gardens for hedgehogs - especially before mowing, strimming and building bonfires
Make hedgehog safe spaces in your garden including escape routes through fences and ramps out of ponds and deep holes they may get trapped in
Feed them dry complete kitten or cat food with meat listed as the primary ingredient - avoid hedgehog foods that look like muesli
Provide fresh water
If you find an injured or sick hedgehog, seek help from a vet or rescue immediately, don't keep them for a few days to wait and see.
They shared with us Hedgehog Street which is a campaign that aims to educate people on how to protect the species.
It wasn't all doom and gloom though, we found out some amazing facts about hogs such as they're around 15 million years old and despite having tiny legs they're able to travel around 6.5km an hour. We also got to treat ourselves to some of the amazing crafty bits they make to raise money.
Visit the Wath Hedgehog Rescue and Rehabilitation page for more information.