My name is Rachael, and I& 39;m a hedgehog carer. My project is to fund the purchase of a shed, which will be used solely to treat and rehabilitate hedgehogs prior to release. The purpose of the project is to increase my capacity to look after hedgehogs indoors from 1 currently, up to potentially 10 at any one time.
Hedgehog numbers have dropped 25% in the last 10 years. They& 39;re an endangered species, but they& 39;re also a well-loved British mammal. Injured and unwell hedgehogs are found daily, but many veterinary practices either don& 39;t have the facilities for their long-term care, or are unable to treat them free of cost.
In order to help preserve the hedgehog species for future generations, there are a small group of individuals who use their own time and money to take in sick and injured animals. Hedgehogs are treated, and then released back into the wild. Studies have shown that hedgehogs who are released after captivity have an equal chance of survival as their counterparts; they do not become dependent on food, and if handled correctly, do not become tame.
Because of my lack of space, I do not openly advertise myself as a hedgehog carer- I receive most of my hedgehogs from a British Hedgehog Preservation Society registered carer who also has limited space. With a successful project, I will be able to add myself to the list of available hedgehog carers on the British Hedgehog Preservation Society website, and fewer hedgehogs will be turned away.
In the Summer, the shed will primarily be used as an area to keep sick and injured hedgehogs during the course of their treatment. During the Winter, it will be heated, and used to house Autumn juveniles; hedgehogs who are unable to survive Winter as they have not reached the correct weight. As per the British Hedgehog Preservation Society& 39;s guidelines, they need to be overwintered- kept somewhere, cleaned and fed until the Spring when they can be released.
My project is to fund the purchase of the actual shed. I myself will fund the various other items required for the project; the foundations and construction of the shed, heating, lighting, boxes and houses to home the hedgehogs, bedding, food, outdoor runs and medicines. Early next year, it is my intention to further my learning my completing a Hedgehog Treatment course at Vale Wildlife Hospital, Tewkesbury