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Home Forums Champions’ chat Advice needed on setting up a Hog Sanctuary Reply To: Advice needed on setting up a Hog Sanctuary

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Hi Paul

It sounds as if you have a lovely opportunity to create a wildlife haven there. Although not necessarily particularly for hedgehogs.

My feeling is that if you create a haven and there are hedgehogs around they will visit it, or even possibly move in. Although it sounds a bit unlikely, to me, that you would find a colony of hedgehogs in the middle of a commercial pine woodland, but I might be wrong.

You can find out whether any hedgehogs are present, by either setting up camera traps or use footprint tunnels **
You would not be so likely to see hedgehogs at this time of year, as most are hibernating.

It may be useful to set up camera traps, anyway, to see what other wildlife visits the area. i.e. are there foxes, badgers, deer, around. You don’t say whereabouts in the country you are, but is there a possibility of red squirrels or pine martens. If so maybe you could improve the habitat for their benefit. Also flora, insects, (butterflies, etc.) Lots of exciting possibilities. Improving the habitat and diversity can benefit all sorts of different wildlife.

But to clarify, if you want hedgehogs in an area, the best thing to do is to make the area more hedgehog friendly and if any are around they would move in. If there are no hedgehogs in the area, there may a reason for that, i.e. that the habitat is not suitable for them, or there is not sufficient suitable habitat for them.

Hedgehogs can travel up to 2 miles a night so even though 5 acres sounds a lot, it really isn’t in terms of hedgehogs. So that if a colony was introduced there (which may not be a good idea for several different reasons) it sounds to me as if it may be isolated.

I am pretty sure that no-one breeds wild european hedgehogs. It would not be appropriate, again, for many reasons. Also hedgehogs are better off staying in their home ranges, where populations may build up resistances to various infections, parasites, etc. For that reason, even if a hedgehog has been rescued for some reason it is recommended that it returns to where it was found, or as near to that as possible.

Hopefully that pretty much covers all your questions.

In conclusion, whilst I really admire your wish to help the hedgehogs, it sounds to me as if it would be better just to make a really nice wildlife area, for wildlife in general and forget about the specific hedgehog angle. Then if any hedgehogs did make their way there, that would be a lovely bonus. It would be interesting to know if any hedgehogs do turn up. Sorry if this may not have been quite the answers you were hoping for. But on behalf of the hedgehogs (who aren’t best known for their gratefulness!) thank you for thinking of them and for caring. Hopefully you will find other ways you can help them. Not least in your own gardens.

Good luck. I hope your wildlife haven turns out to be a great success, one way or another.