The sanctuary that saves Eastleigh’s endangered wildlife – Eastleigh News
Eastleigh Hedgehog Rescue calls for donations
Eastleigh Hedgehog Rescue is in urgent need of donations to help protect our increasingly threatened hedgehogs from extinction in the UK.
Hedgehogs were recently placed on the ICUN Red List, placing them in the endangered category. During the 1950s, around 35 million hedgehogs populated the UK, with the hedgehog population dropping to just one million today – some estimates dropping to half a million. The fall of the population, largely due to humans, is the result not only of road deaths but also: brush cutters, lawn mowers, nets in which pigs get tangled, anti-slug pellets, dog attacks and other poisons and insecticides.
The Fair Oak-based Hogspital officially opened in March 2020, after owner Chrissy Russell completed a first aid and rehabilitation course for hedgehogs at Vale Wildlife in Tewkesbury. The sanctuary has treated over 100 hedgehogs in the first year, but can currently only treat six patients at a time.
Chrissy’s advice to people in Eastleigh who find a hedgehog during the day is to ask themselves especially if you think the hedgehog has a purpose? The difference between a still hedgehog and a busy hedgehog who would likely be a nursing mother at this time of year should be clear. If a hedgehog is outside during the day, it probably needs help because they are nocturnal creatures. It is important to determine if this is a mother breastfeeding her babies (pigs), as this is the exception. If not, contact the British Hedgehog Preservation Society on 01584 890 801 which has an up-to-date list of all rescues registered with them nationwide. More information can be found at www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk
â€œWe can also help hedgehogs by making our gardens more ‘hedgehog friendly,’ as Chrissy explains:
A huge problem is the loss of habitat caused by our modern garden fence systems. There is a huge campaign calling for a 2 inch hole at the bottom of all fences.
The campaign is called Hedgehog Highways and many homebuilding companies are signing up for it. So the most useful thing for a hedgehog friendly garden would be to create a hedgehog route between you and your neighbors, and encourage them to do the same. A wild hedgehog’s territory is about a mile each night and being unable to navigate their territory safely, hedgehogs end up on our roads instead of crossing gardens safely.
Other things you can do are make sure you have a wild area maybe at the end of your yard with some tall grass and maybe a bush so they can nest underneath. A power station can be installed, which can be as simple as using a plastic box with a 5 inch hole cut out of it. Place a bowl with dry cat or kitten cookies and plenty of water. Please never put bread or milk for hedgehogs, and absolutely no mealworms or sunflower hearts, which can cause metabolic bone disease and kill hedgehogs. You don’t need to buy expensive hedgehog food, they will live very happily on cat food â€
The Hogspital is entirely dependent on donations, all work being undertaken by unpaid volunteers and entirely dependent on the generosity of its supporters. Donations made through their GoFundMe page are used to fund vital equipment such as a portable intensive care unit – the hospital is currently raising funds to purchase a vacuum suction unit to remove maggots and fly eggs from patients sick.