Monday, 22 June 2015

Birchanger Woods Helping Support Our Hedgehogs

A few years ago I was contacted by Pat the warden from the Birchanger Woods Trust. He and the other volunteers wanted to repopulate the woods with hedgehogs. Sadly they like many places have seen a once healthy hedgehog population crash. So they were offering the woods as a release site. Also even though they are a trust and totally run by volunteers and are self-funding they were also happy to donate money and time to achieve this. They have worked extremely hard and spent quite a lot of money to achieve something wonderful. We now have:

  • A second shed for fattening hand-reared hoglets
  • Two soft release runs 
  • A purpose built escape proof area for a disabled hog
  • Willing volunteers to help care for a disable hog and to assist in soft releases
Today I visited the woods and wanted to share what they've achieved with you in this post. 

Firstly we'd like to thank the family of Peter Gardner, who donated money to the trust in his memory and agreed to allow that money to be used towards the hedgehog shed. 

A front view of the shed with one of the small soft release runs. These have already been used to release 3 hogs into the woods. These we will continue to use for hoglets that have been hand-reared or hedgehogs who can be released but not to the area they were rescued from. A small door allows the resident to wander between the outside run and an inside sleeping and feeding area.     

Part of the fully escape proof area that will be the new home to a hedgehog that cannot be released back into the wild, typically this is because they have been left disabled. As you can see it has been left to become 'wild.' In the middle is a large log pile that hides a waterproof outside home. 

The area behind the log house and to the right of the shed. As you can see the vegetation is ideal for hogs to grub around in and under whilst they look for those juicy bugs they love. 

The door between the inside feeding/bed area into the escape proof area and as you can see even a little path has been provided.  

Last but not least any hogs that are released into the woods have this natural jewel to explore and make their home. 

As I've mentioned we've already used the soft release runs and for the first time in a long time Pat has seen hedgehog droppings in the woods. This is obviously wonderful news and something we can build on. Now all we need is some hedgehogs to release. 

If you'd like to visit Birchanger Woods please follow this link to download their brochure. 

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