The message here is about hedgehogs seen out in the daytime, if not an actively large mother hedgehog, it means they need help because they are nocturnal animals. This message is one that the public generally seem to be aware of more now. However this does not necessarily apply the other way round i.e if a hedgehog is out at night even if dark, it is not automatically a healthy hedgehog.
At night healthy hedgehogs will usually run away because they hear you walking. Another behaviour is they just freeze in the hope no one can see them. And the final reaction if they have something touching them like a dogs nose or paw they will curl up. These are normal reactions but if you come across a hedgehog at night that is curled up already as you approach them, they most likely will have been there for some time already, and are probably not actively foraging and are probably in need of help. The most common problem is they have an internal parasite burden. The parasites feed off the food the hedgehog eats causing the hedgehog to loose weight. Eventually the burden starts to become too much they quickly become underweight and their body starts to shut down. At this point even in the middle of the heat of summer the hedgehog will start to suffer hypothermia as the blood starts receding from the extremities to the main organs. In making a decision whether to intervene or not with a hedgehog you come across whatever time of night it is, think “does this hedgehog look healthy in its behaviour?” Trust your gut instinct and have the confidence to take action to get it to a rescue.
Please leave shallow dishes of water out around your gardens and ask family, friends and neighbours to do the same. Hedgehogs can struggle and particularly in more rural settings. There is no life without water for any living thing, we are so lucky to be able to switch a tap on we easily forget the struggle of wildlife finding water.
If possible creating a feed station and putting Brambles Hedgehog Biscuits or Kitten biscuits will also help support struggling hogs.
In winter, anyone whose garden floods in places, please move hedgehog houses and keep an eye out for wet hoggies. They don’t wake up automatically even in a flood. Moving boxes now won’t wake up any hibernating hogs. They can swim just fine, but if hibernating somewhere that floods, they might drown because they don’t have a mechanism for coming out of hibernation quickly.Please keep your eyes open for hedgehogs needing help. They are still about in this relatively mild weather. With flooding expected, if your garden floods please move hedgehog houses to a high point in your garden. Hedgehogs can not wake up quickly to swim away if they are in hibernation, it can take 20 minutes or longer and takes a lot! of energy. So please keep putting food out. They can hibernate under fallen trees, under sheds, in wood piles and in fact any other undisturbed space they fee safe in. Many hedgehogs die during hibernation because they are unwell or their chosen site isn’t suitable, so please take care over this period. Stillingfleet Hedgehog Rescue is running normally and following covid-19 protocol with mask and distancing so please don’t hesitate to contact.
if you see any hedgehogs out between 8.30am and 4.30pm you can contact me on 07935 799058. This is strictly for Cawood residents only.
On seeing a hedgehog that needs help please place in a high sided box. Give heat by using a hot water bottle, wheat bag or just a bottle with a firm top, all of these must be wrapped in a towel so not to burn the hedgehog. Please allow enough space in the box for the hedgehog to be able to move away from the heat if it needs to. Place a shallow dish of water and also a shallow dish of cat biscuits, wet cat or dog food into the box. place a light cloth such as a tea towel or hand towel over the hedgehog so it can hide and not feel exposed and threatened. Position the box in a quiet space away from pets and young children. THEN, ring round to find your nearest rescue that can take it in, as detailed above.
Hedgehog Friendly Cawood is a community initiative open to all age groups.
A group (Cawood Prickles) is being developed to create and organise activities that will support the survival of a healthy hedgehog population for future generations. The activities can be by an individual or family in their own garden to maintain hedgehog highways and ensure habitat.
Hedgehog highways are gaps in fencing to allow the hedgehogs to forage for food in a much larger area; barriers between gardens are one of the main problems preventing hedgehogs finding enough natural food to eat.
The group will also carry knowledge gained from its local hedgehog rescue “Stillingfleet Hedgehog Rescue” to the wider community of Cawood. The group has a direct relationship with the local rescuer who will deliver talks and support with injured or unwell hedgehogs found in Cawood.
The vision is for a positive and engaged attitude to hedgehogs throughout the village and celebrating their existence through activities that highlight Cawood as a hedgehog friendly village.