Friday, 26 April 2013

The Hedgehog Shed Re-vamped

At the beginning of the year we applied for a grant from the Stansted Airport Community Trust to cover the cost of new hutches and shelving. 

The 'before' shot

We were delighted when they contacted us last month to inform us we'd been successful in our bid.

As a small not-for-profit organisation it has meant our old wooden cages could be replaced with easy to maintain plastic cages plus provide some much needed storage space. So over the last couple of weeks we have been busy spending our grant.

The first step was to source six new hutches suitable for hedgehogs. Thankfully we have Fin & Fur pets stores almost on our door step. So we contacted them and Karen not only took the time to find us just the right cages, deliver said cages but supported our work by selling them to us at cost.

Six new hutches just delivered

The next step was to empty the hedgehog shed ready for the work to start. We also took the opportunity sweep, scrub and re-home a myriad of spiders.

Almost empty - hedgehog still hibernating!

Keith of Orchard Carpentry & Property Maintenance arrived and started to work his magic with wood and nail.

Half of shelving in place

Within a few short hours the job was complete. We made up the new cages, slipped them onto the shelving and stood back and admired the:

drawers that are just the right size for storing tins of food,

shelving that's ideal for storing newspaper, hay and towels

and a hutch all ready for it's first 'lodger' 

The last thing to do was to move Grundy (who'd spent the day snoozing in the garage, away from all the noise) into one of the new cages with clean towels (he'd had an eye removed, so is on towels whilst he heals).

Grundy sleeping the afternoon away

We would like to thank the following people for their help:
Stansted Airport Community Trust - for covering the cost of the new hutches and shelving
Fin & Fur - for sourcing, delivering and supporting our work
Keith of Orchard Carpentry & Property Maintenance (Waltham Abbey) for his carpentry skills
Pippa King Ceramics and The Bishop's Stortford Chiropractic Clinic for sponsoring our new hog houses.

The 'after' shot - what a difference!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Bubble Boy Is Back Home

On 2nd December 2012 one of our carers (Di and her husband Rob) received a call from a friend. She had seen a small hedgehog out during the day. After a short conversation said hedgehog was caught and came to stay with us. He weighed just 432 grams, so was not heavy enough to survive the winter. However on inspection it was noticed he was wonky (he was called wonky hog for a few hours). So off to the vets he went and it was discovered by our fab vet Helen (A120 Medivets) that this poor chap has a small hole in one of his lungs.

Showing the build up of air under his skin

Each time he was taking a breathe in a little air was escaping into the body cavity. So she worked her magic and syringed off the build up of air. He was put onto a course of anti-biotics and the process of drawing off the air was repeated a couple more times.

The air being syringed off by Helen

Soon Bubble Boy (as he was re-nick named) was fully recovered and had managed to reach the magic 600 grams. So he was picked up by Charlotte (another of our wonderful carers) and spent the winter hibernating in her garage.

Bubble Boy finally woke a few days ago and today (17th April 2013) he was released back to the garden he came from.

Back in 'his' garden

Home sweet home

Now because he'll never say thank you, I'd like to thank Aasta for finding this little chap, Di for picking him up and dropping him off, Helen for providing her veterinary skills and Charlotte for looking after him over the winter. A team effort that paid off!     

Friday, 5 April 2013

Hedgehogs in May - by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society

By now all the hedgehogs should be up and about after their long hibernation and their thoughts will be turning to procreation.

If you see a hedgehog in your garden that is visiting regularly then it is more likely to be a female.  Females tend to stay fairly local and have a small area in which they forage.  However the males will wander over a large area in the search for receptive females.

If you are thinking of demolishing your garden shed then do it sooner rather than later.  Around this time of year we get lots of calls starting “I have just been knocking down my old shed and …..”  Yes, we know you have found a female hedgehog with babies – it happens every year!

Hedgehogs out in the day are usually in trouble. However sometimes a female about to give birth will put some finishing touches to her nest.  She may appear in the daytime and will be carrying leaves and such items to a certain place in the garden, often making repeated visits.  In this case her being out in the day has a definite purpose and she should be left alone.  Count 4 weeks and a few days and this might be when you will start seeing her and her new family foraging together across your lawn.

We are firm believers in prevention being better than cure so try to ‘think hedgehog’ and avoid any activities that may disturb nests or worst still may injure, maim or kill them. The BHPS has a leaflet called ‘Gardening “with” Hedgehogs’.  For this and much more visit the BHPS website. If you find a hedgehog needing help or if you need more advice call the BHPS on 01584 890801 – it is better to be safe than sorry.

P.S. Remember we also have information on this blog - just click on the pages at the top for help and advice.