A HEDGEHOG rescue centre in Bromsgrove has released four hoglets so they can build a new life in the countryside.
Pig, Gnasher, Hazel and Dew were let go over the weekend at Rush Farm, near Redditch, which inspired BBC Radio 4’s The Archers. They are hoglets which are all ready to start their adult life in the wild.
Rush Farm is an ideal 150-acre mixed farm, which includes 22 acres of woodland.
The project came about after Charlie Walker and Jayne Lawrence, who run Willows, spoke to Sebastian Parsons and Adrian Parsons from the farm.
Charlie said: “We realised that the farm embodied the ethics we held dear.
“Ethics of local farming, managed bio dynamically in harmony with the natural world.
“We took the decision to make a small personal investment allowing us to be a part of supporting the farm and to be involved with it’s future.”
Among the farm’s objectives, shared by Willows, are wildlife conservation, maintenance and enhancement of landscape quality and character, natural resource protection, protection of the historic environment, promotion of public access and understanding of the countryside.
“We wish to create environments that may help in reversing the decline of the hedgehog in the countryside.
“While it is fairly easy for people in towns and cities to make small changes that are beneficial and with many doing so can have large scale impacts it seems more difficult to change things in the countryside where it appears that hedgehog decline is even more serious,” added Charlie.
Willows takes in hedgehogs from both urban and countryside areas of Worcestershire and, where possible, Jayne and Charlie like to release the prickly creatures, after treatment and rehabilitation, back into the wild, close to the areas they came from.
Saturday (May 9), when Jayne and volunteer Karen released the hoglets, was a landmark date in Willows’ relationship with Rush Farm and followed after the farmers informed the centre last year of hedgehog sightings on the land.
That showed the farm was a suitable release site for hedgehogs that could not go back to the finders.
“We will not release hedgehogs into areas where hedgehogs are not known.
“This will give them the best possible chance of survival,” added Charlie.
He said anyone who finds a hedgehog should put them in a hedgehog home, provide them with water and supplementary food and speak to their neighbours about making their gardens hedgehog-friendly.
Visit www.willowshedgehogrescue.co.uk for more on Willows, to donate and for tips on how to make gardens more hedgehog-friendly.