Thursday 1 August 2019

Hedgehogs in August • Kay Bullen, Trustee of the BHPS

Nest box tucked away in a quiet corner
There will be many newly independent youngsters around at this time and if there is a spell of dry weather, they may have problems finding sufficient food, this can apply to the adults as well, especially if females are still looking after their hoglets.

Providing extra food in dry weather can therefore be a life saver and a dish of water would also be invaluable.  Good quality hedgehog food, meaty cat or dog food or cat biscuits are suitable things to offer.  If you offer dry food, then the extra water is even more important.

If you want to encourage hedgehogs into your garden this is probably the best time of year to do it. There will be lots of youngsters dispersing from their birthplaces all looking for a new home patch, where they can build up weight ready for their first hibernation.  If you can provide a nest box for them, or even just a safe place for them to build a nest that may increase your chances of a long-term visitor. 

Should you have an unused or new nest box you could put a few dry cat biscuits in the entrance to encourage them to explore inside the box, once one starts using it, feed away from the box, as there may be conflicts between any new arrivals attracted to the box by the food and the new resident.

Hedgehogs having access to your garden by several “hedgehog holes” will also mean they can come into your garden more easily, some might pass through on their travels whilst others may be encouraged to stay, either in your garden or locally.  If neighbours are encouraged to do the same this will mean hedgehogs can move around your neighbourhood more easily.  However, do make sure gardens are hedgehog friendly before you encourage them to stay.

If you need advice about any hedgehogs contact the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, they can give general advice and perhaps details of a local hedgehog rehabilitator that you can contact.  Their website also includes ideas for feeding stations and nest boxes plus how to make your garden hedgehog friendly (see “Gardening with Hedgehogs” leaflet).  Contact them on 01584 890801 or for general advice and for leaflets visit their website. 

Tuesday 16 July 2019

Hedgehogs in July • Kay Bullen, BHPS

Betty found out during the day
During July you can expect to see the first of the season’s hoglets coming out of the nest with mum. 
They will start to come out with her at around 4 weeks of age and continue to do this until they are around 8 weeks of age, after this time they will become independent and disperse.

There will still be new born hoglets arriving, born perhaps to last years later youngsters or perhaps when a mother loses her litter and starts a second one and later still when an early successful litter is followed by a second one.

Hedgehogs are not territorial although they can have home patches.  The females’ home patches will be smaller than the male’s.  She just needs enough space and a good food supply to rear her hoglets.  The males will wander further in the breeding season so have a larger home patch during this time.  Once the breeding season is over they will tend to range over a smaller area, concentrating on building a good fat reserve for their hibernation.

If the weather becomes very hot the ground will dry out and this can make foraging difficult as their natural food may burrow deeper into the leaf litter or retreat underground or under stones and paving slabs.  Putting out extra food during these times can help a mother hedgehog feed her hoglets and once they are coming out with her they may visit your feeding station for food. Good quality hedgehog food, meaty cat or dog food or cat biscuits are suitable things to offer.  Don’t forget to put out water for all your wildlife visitors as well, and keep ponds topped up so hedgehogs don’t topple in when looking for a drink.

If you are concerned about a hedgehog it is much better to seek advice sooner rather than later it is better to be safe than sorry.

If you need advice about any hedgehogs contact the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, they can give general advice and perhaps details of a local hedgehog rehabilitator that you can contact.  Contact them on 01584 890801 or for general advice and leaflets visit their website.

Monday 15 April 2019

Hedgehogs in April • Kay Bullen - BHPS

The majority of hedgehogs will usually wake up during April and will be preparing for their year ahead.  
The first priority is to replace some of the weight they have lost during hibernation and they will be very thirsty, so make sure some clean ground level water is available for them.  Some may come out of hibernation in a very poor condition and may be found out in the day.  These will need to be rescued and passed on to a hedgehog rehabilitator.

If you have a hedgehog highway running through your garden make sure it has not become blocked up during the winter, access through many gardens is necessary to keep populations viable.  In the breeding season the males can travel several miles throughout the night in search of “love”.  

The males don't stay around to help raise the hoglets, they are nomadic wandering over a large area. They don't have territories to defend and any fighting is most likely be over a female hedgehog or a food dish. The females tend to have a smaller home patch in which they raise their hoglets, the size of the home patch is likely to reflect the amount of food available in the local area.

Hedgehogs tend to be solitary creatures only coming together for courtship or as a family unit when the hoglets are dependent on mum.  If hedgehogs should meet up there is often a lot of huffing and hissing, they also can do this when they feel threatened.  

Whilst not unheard of, April is generally a little early for hoglets to be born but there may well be some noisy courtship! There will be a lot of huffing initially and the male will circle the female, waiting for her to settle down before a very careful mating begins.  

If you want to attract hedgehogs to your garden have a look at the BHPS website for instructions on making a quick and easy feeding station and for more ways to make your garden safer for your visiting hedgehogs.  However firstly you need to make sure hedgehogs can get into your garden by creating a hedgehog highway visit and see how to link your garden to your neighbours.

If you are concerned or just need advice about any hedgehogs contact the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and they can give general advice.  Their contact number is 01584 890801 or email us at for advice.   

Wednesday 20 February 2019

Chunkie Update

Isn't Chunkie absolutely gorgeous?
Taken 19/02/19 by Monique.

Monique and I have had a long chat about Chunkie and the feedback from the vet, who kindly looked at him today. 

Sadly we can't do anything about the scar tissue (caused by a plastic ring of a bottle caught around his middle when a very young hoglet). The vet discovered, that with manipulation whilst he was under anaesthetic Chunkie's leg can be pulled in. We could do therapy but it would be once a week under sedation. This is very risky, and we're just not prepared to risk his life and cause him additional stress. 

So... here's our plan:

Part one:
He'll stay with Monique for the time being in her indoor run, where we hope he'll lose some weight. It's hoped as he does (he's already lost 10 grams) it'll give some slack and he'll be able to pull his leg in. If this happens then he may have a chance to go back to the wild. 

Part two: 
If this doesn't work then we're looking for a very, very special home for him.

This home will have to have:
  • A large secure, lush garden for the warm months. 
  • A large area that can be kept warm during the cold months (as he can't hibernate). 
  • An adopter wiling to cover the costs of his food and lodging. 
  • An adopter who is prepared to make vet visits (we'll cover costs) as he may have additional health issues in the future due to the scarring. 


If case part one of our plan doesn't work can you provide Chunkie with a forever home or do you know someone who does.

If so, please contact me at

Alternately spread the word by sharing this link. THANK YOU!

Sunday 9 September 2018

Herts Hogline calls out for votes to bag a share of Tesco’s bag fund

Herts Hogline is bidding to bag a massive cash boost from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative.

Tesco teamed up with Groundwork to launch its community funding scheme, which sees grants of £4,000, £2,000 and £1,000 raised from carrier bag sales in Tesco stores awarded to local community projects. 

Three groups in every Tesco region have been shortlisted to receive the cash award and shoppers are being invited to head along to Tesco stores to vote for who they think should take away the top grant.
Herts Hogline is one of the groups on the shortlist. Any money raised will help us continue to care for sick, injured and orphaned hedgehogs. Our aim is to return all those we care for back to the wild and if we're unable to then we find them a caring, forever home. 
As a totally not-for-profit and non-funded we rely totally on the generosity of the public and organisations to provide the funds we require to cover the costs of caring for the hedgehogs that come into us. 
Voting is open in all Tesco stores during September and October and customers will cast their vote using a token given to them at the check-out in store each time they shop. Herts Hogline can be voted for in the following stores in Bishop's Stortford:
Tesco Super Store - Bishops Park 
- Tesco Express - 32a South Street
- Tesco Express - Havers Lane

Plus the Tesco Express in Stansted (Cambridge Road).
Tesco’s Bags of Help project has already delivered over £56 million to more than 16,000 projects across Britain. Tesco customers get the chance to vote for three different groups every time they shop. Every other month, when votes are collected, three groups in each of Tesco’s regions will be awarded funding.
Alec Brown, Head of Community at Tesco, said:
Bags of Help has been a fantastic success and we’ve been overwhelmed by the response from customers. It’s such a special scheme because it’s local people who decide how the money will be spent in their community. There are some fantastic projects on the shortlists and we can’t wait to see these come to life in hundreds of communities.”
Groundwork’s National Chief Executive, Graham Duxbury, said: 
Bags of Help continues to enable local communities up and down Britain to improve the local spaces and places that matter to them. The diversity of projects that are being funded shows that local communities have a passion to create something great in their area. We are pleased to be able to be a part of the journey and provide support and encouragement to help local communities thrive.” 
Funding is available to community groups and charities looking to fund local projects that bring benefits to communities. Anyone can nominate a project and organisations can apply online. To find out more visit far Bags of Help has awarded more than £56 million to over 16,000 community projects.