BROMSGROVE’S Willows Hedgehog Rescue Centre is appealing for companies and residents with DIY resources and skills to come forward and help build some new pens for the hogs after an influx of new mums and babies.
Currently at Willows there are nine mums with hoglets – one female came in following a rescue by the RSPCA after she had been speared with a garden fork.
Jayne and Charlie did not think she would survive because they did not know if her vital organs had been pierced.
But four weeks later, after treatment and some TLC from Willows, her wounds have healed and she gave birth at the centre. She is now feeding little ones there.
Another set of hoglets were brought in after being attacked by seagulls. Sadly three of them died but the remaining trio – Cotton Bobbin and Button – are feeding well and gaining weight.
Jayne Lawrence, who operates the centre with Charlie Walker, said this year it felt like every female hedgehog being admitted to them had given birth and now more runs were urgently needed.
“Our hedgehog hospital has been turned into a maternity unit and we need as much help as we can get.
“Due to the numbers of mums and hoglets we are asking for any gardening contractor, grounds maintenance crews for help.
“If you could give us just one or two days labour to help build new pens then please contact us.
“Outdoor time is an essential part of rehabilitating these little ones before full release, and back to the wild where they belong.”
The mild winter has meant hedgehogs may not have hibernated and spent the winter eating possibly the only option around – slugs.
Everyone thinks hedgehogs love slugs but the truth is only five per cent of their diet should be slugs – the main part is beetles and other crunchy bugs.
Due to slugs being in plentiful supply this year, female hogs have come into Willows poorly.
Treatment starts for Lung worm (a parasite from slugs) and depending on how bad they are, it could mean they are at Willows from five to seven weeks.
“In hoglet season this is not good,” added Jayne.
And she said if anyone happened to disturb a hedgehog nest, they should recover it as best they can without touching it and seek advice from Willows or one of the many hedgehog care centres.
She also urged gardeners to check thoroughly in untidy parts of their gardens for hog nests before they start work.
Residents wanting to help mums can place water (never milk) and cat or dog biscuits or food.
Anyone who can help with the run building project should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07518 354408.
Visit www.willowshedgehogrescue.co.uk for more on Willows Hedgehog Rescue.