We recently announced that the local cause we will be supporting for 2016 is Oggles, a hedgehog rescue and rehabilitation centre based in Dewsbury. Vicky Greenwood has run the sanctuary from her own home since 2010, when she took in her very first spiky resident and nursed him back to health. We have pledged to help Vicky with her ‘hogspital’, currently home to 140 hedgehogs, by donating food for the patients, whilst also supporting her in raising awareness through social media and providing prizes for upcoming fundraisers.

But as our conversations with Oggles have unfolded, we’ve realised just how little people know about these spiky creatures. So, in a bid to change that, we’ve compiled some tips for you to follow if you find an injured hedgehog………

  • Handle the hedgehog with care – their spines can be very sharp. Wear thick gardening gloves or use a couple of towels to pick them up.
  • Store the hedgehog in a deep box until veterinary (or rescue centre!) help can be obtained. The box must not be too shallow as these little creatures are extremely strong and can stand on their hind legs to easily escape! If you cannot find anything of depth, weight down the lid and always punch in some air holes for much-needed ventilation.
  • If the animal feels cold to touch, heat should be provided via a hot water bottle. Alternatively, fill a drinks bottle with hot but not boiling water, wrap it in a towel and place it at the bottom of the hedgehog’s box.
  • Only feed the hedgehog with meat and water; it is an urban myth that these prickly creatures like milk. They are in fact lactose-intolerant, so feeding them milk will make them ill and lead to almost certain death!

  • If you find a mother and her offspring the two should be transported separately, with the mother being picked up first. If possible, do not touch the babies, scoop them up in their nest and take them to a rescue centre as soon as possible; without their mother they will not survive for long.
  • Remember: any hedgehog out and about in the daytime will more than likely be injured. They are nocturnal animals and will not generally be visible during hours of sunlight unless they are unwell – they will merely be seeking warmth.
  • The best place to take an injured hedgehog is your local rescue centre, which you can find via The British Hedgehog Preservation Society, contactable on 01584 890801. Please note that a local vets may take the hedgehog or as a last resort the RSPCA.

Our hedgehog population is rapidly declining, with numbers dropping by 95% since the 1950s.Any help you can give to our spiky friends to improve this situation, will mean that in years to come we’ll be able to show them to our children – and not just in a book!