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Which hedgehogs need help in winter?

Home Forums Carers / rescuing a hedgehog Which hedgehogs need help in winter?

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    feeling so proud of myself – just spoken to some from the political party for my neighbourhood – and the councillor is going to give me a ring back – I mentioned the strimmer issue, and talked about needing support to get the population thriving in this area.

    They agreed, to get the schools involved, and educate the kids, about hedgehogs (what to do if they see one in the day (will say tell a teacher, and then get the teacher to put in a box, and get in contact with me and/or BPHS) and give them info on how litter can damage hedgehogs – it’s a high school, so could be a little bit more graphic if I can get away with it.

    Primary school will definately be on board I reckon, but probably focus on not touching a hedgehog, telling a teacher if one out in the day, and not to give it sweets and stuff like that).

    I’m gonna do my upmost because they’ve got into my heart.

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    Well done, Hedgie Lover, that’s brilliant.

    Maybe you could encourage the schools to start a hedgehog club. They could create a wildlife area, have hog houses, etc. and have night cams so that they can see what’s happening. Or you could share your footage with them. If you could get one of the teachers really enthusiastic, it could happen. It would be really good to get that generation interested in wildlife and especially hogs.

    But if you could get the whole Council to be more careful about how they use strimmers and brush-cutters, that could potentially save loads of hogs. It’s mostly about being a bit more careful and thinking hog before they strim. I’d sooner people didn’t use strimmers, at all, but in reality, that’s not likely to happen. But if only people could be a bit more careful how they went about it, that would make a big difference.

    BHPS focused on strimmers for Hedgehog Awareness Week in 2017 when they had stickers that people could use. I’m not sure whether the strimmer campaign is still current, but you might be able to find out. This is another link:
    and You might need to scroll down on this one to get to the strimmer part.

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    Thank you so much – funnily enough – I volunteer at a conservation centre which is local to this area, and the Labour party (who I’ll be speaking to – but unfortunately I’m not gonna vote for them (won’t tell them that), they are funding the conservation centre, (so I’ve met a few of the councillors through that), but it’ll be one of the councillors, who I met have already met, that I’ll be speaking to.

    And we do a lot of nature areas for primary schools in my area, and surrounding.

    Problem is, the primary school’s have to pay the council for the nature areas – but something I can discuss with the councillor – but I think it might be up to the school that makes the decision.

    We do make big bug hotels for schools, using what we can find, already there, and a few pallet racks from the site. Kids love stuff like that, and I think they like little houses.

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    Hi Hedgie Lover

    That all sounds brilliant. Sounds like you’re well placed to get the schools involved then. Good luck with the Councillor.


    Had second thoughts about getting a primary school to have hedgehog homes in a nature area, just worried that at playtime, some children wouldn’t be able to resist looking inside them and might disturb a nest.

    Bug hotels aren’t so bad, as kids can look at all the bugs and have a ladybird running about their hand, doesn’t create as much trauma (as they can fly off) to a bug than it does to a hedgehog.

    I won’t to help them to understand not to pick up a hedgehog, not to play with it, and to tell a teacher if they see one out in the day, and how litter can be fatal to a hedgehog.

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    If you work with the children, I imagine you have a better idea of what they are likely to do. I would have hoped that if they were explained the importance of not disturbing the hog houses, they wouldn’t, but maybe not. But there are plenty of other things they can do for the hogs, other than having hog houses.

    Good luck anyway. Anything you can teach them about hogs is worthwhile.


    I don’t work with children, but I know what they can be like – my friend has a 12 year old, and she loves animals – but, as my mum’s dog is really small, she constantly keeps picking her up – the dog, Polly, has never snapped, but she did once with this 12 year old, she’d had enough –

    And then she’s come round to mine, and I told her where the hog house was – and she was looking in the entrance, saying ‘I want to see it’, I told her you can’t disturb, but it went in one ear and out the other, but didn’t let her.

    Was a bit frustrated as the hog who was staying there at the time, vacated that night, and never returned to the house, (actually I think that was Klepto) – so thankfully, at the time, it was just used as a temporary nest by Klepto – but not sure if he moved because he got disturbed.

    Kids, they can’t help it – they do need to be supervised really. Of course, there are a lot of kids not like this, but a lot of them are.


    Agree. Not sure I trust any children around wildlife. Have heard of teenagers kicking a hedgehog around like a football! Personally I wouldn’t want any of them knowing where they are.
    Teaching children to keep their environment free of litter and encouraging insects can only be a plus for all wildlife as a stronger eco system starts at the bottom and will filter through to hedgehogs. Knowledge of what to do with hedgehogs if they see them is good but I wouldn’t actively encourage hedgehogs into an area with children. IF a child picked one up, the chances are they won’t be wearing gloves etc and a child contracting anything from them or getting a tic would probably lead to big problems.
    Good luck with the councillors and education programme.

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    This sounds a bit like a philosophical debate about which a book could be written!

    I know very little about children but:

    One thing we all learn, being involved with hedgehogs, is that we have to trust that most people will not purposely do the hogs harm. It is something we have no choice about if hedgehogs are to be wild and free as they must be.

    Very sadly there may always be a minority of people who are cruel to animals. Children do not hold any sort of monopoly there. But are they more or less likely to be cruel to animals if they are taught to respect them when they are children? If we treat children as if they are all going to behave like that, are we being fair to those that wouldn’t?

    Can we expect children to respect and be interested in wildlife if they know little or nothing about it?

    Who are we trying to save hedgehogs for? Ourselves or for the future?

    It is the children who will have to take up the struggle to help hedgehogs survive, when we are no longer here. Do our attitudes towards children now make it more or less likely that that will happen?

    If the children are going to be told what to do if they find a hedgehog, are they more likely to treat it well if they have some background knowledge? The fact is that the hedgehogs are there anyway, so the children might come across them.

    Will they have more ‘investment’ in trying to keep the place litter free, etc., if they have a good reason for it? Are they more likely to want to help the hogs if they know something about them?

    I don’t know the answers. Just putting the questions out there.

    Maybe it’s the teachers who are best placed to know whether it’s a good idea and how much or otherwise to share with the children. Hence my original suggestion to try to get a teacher involved. I imagine it would be fairly difficult anyway without the help of a teacher.

    A Hedgehog Club doesn’t need to be about anything hands on. It could be about information. But would, perhaps, make it more likely there was an interest in protecting any hedgehogs that were come across, keeping the place litter free, etc., in to the future.


    Very well put Nic.

    It’s very difficult knowing what to do for the best. We all know that large numbers of hedgehogs are accidentally killed or injured because people are unaware of their existance, so reminding people to be careful is a good thing. As for divulging their exact whereabouts is another thing entirely. Like Nic says, unfortunately there is always a minority that would wish them harm. As an example, you mention in another thread Hedgie Lover, that a rescue centre had their hedgehogs stolen from outside hutches and had to close. I wonder if they were stolen to be sold on as pets in the guise of “African pygmys”! 🙁

    In my experience, people often watch over the hedgehogs in their garden, but are reluctant to speak out about them, it’s a bit like the Knights Templar protecting the Holy Grail!

    Sounds like you are doing an amazing job Hedgie Lover, keep up the good work. 🙂


    I have the same fears Simbo – what I’d do, is I’d do the research, with the help from the hedgehog rescue centre, and find out what you could catch from a hedgehog – the rescue centre said to me anything we can catch is treatable – and if you get infected by a prick from their spines, you can treat it with canistan.

    But I’d tell them they have internal parasites, and lungworm and stuff – so they hopefully would be more reluctant to pick them up and try cuddle them and stuff – I’d also tell them that the mother sometimes eats her babies if the nest gets disturbed.

    Most kids really like animals, but clumsy with them, they want to pick them up all the time, then there is the physco kids, few and far between, but every school has them. If I tell them they could potentially catch something from a hedgehog (reluctant to say it’s treatable though LOL), they might be less likely.

    Hi Penny,

    I don’t know why the hogs got stolen, but I assume, before they closed they might have been quite a good rescue centre, but it sounds, from their facebook posts in 2018 that the owner couldn’t move in her house as there were boxes of hedgehogs all over the place.

    When I volunteered at an animal shelter (2 pigs, 7 sheep, a horse, rabbits and guinea pigs, and cats), they said that sanctuarys and shelter start off with really good intentions, but they feel reluctant to say no, get too full and can’t manage anymore. Then some owners get older or unwell.

    When that happens, everything goes down hill and the animals suffer incredibly – so when we get frustrated with these kind of places for saying no to us when they are full, there’s a valid reason – because they need to make sure they are able to deliver the care.

    And I’m wondering if that’s what happened with them. I wonder if they weren’t able to care properly for their hedgehogs, and they refused to answer calls or respond to people asking about the hedgehogs they had bought in, wonder if all the people that wanted updates, the hogs didn’t make it and they didn’t want to tell them that. I’m just speculating.

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    Hi Hedgie Lover

    I would be careful what I tell the children, if I were you. If you exagerate things, they might very easily find you out. But also bear in mind that one of the reasons people give for not liking hedgehogs is that think they are covered in fleas, when not all hedgehogs have fleas and if they do have fleas, they are hedgehog specific ones. So if people (including children) think they’re full of parasites, and that they can catch things from them, it might have the opposite effect to the one you are hoping for. That’s one of the reasons that people don’t like rats – becasue they think they carry diseases.

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    Hi Hedgie Lover

    I checked out the Hedgehog Street Resources (you need to be signed in to access them), and there is a whole section on Hedgehog activities for schools:

    “an education pack for schools and teachers. From homes for hogs to bug banquets these resources will help students get to know the world of hedgehogs.”

    “These free hedgehog themed activities are best used with primary aged children. They cover a variety of national curriculum subjects and programmes of study, and can be carried out come rain or shine.”

    There is lots of information in the resources section, which you could take your lead from. Maybe you could draw a teacher’s attention to this education pack for schools and teachers.


    Thanks Nic, I’ll have a look at it tmrw

    Yes, I considered that too, that it would put them off hedgehogs rather than want to help them.

    I think I’ll just focus on litter and telling a teacher if they see one out in the day – I might just say that as they have spines, they are likely to hurt you if you pick them up – that might be suffice, I’ll also tell them that having spines is a good thing as it protects them a little bit from prediators.

    Good day today, been following a hedgehog at my local rescue centre – an adult male who came in with no spines, he’s now got a full coat of spines, and now going to a foster carer before he gets released. – how wonderful.

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