Author Archives: billbates

Lovely sunny Sunday morning, woke up early decided to make a drink to take back to bed and read for an hour or so. Came downstairs and opened the kitchen blinds and wondered what all the hay was doing on the floor under Emma’s sleeping box?? went to investigate, only to find she had made her escape.
Emma came to us at the beginning of the month, skinny, underweight and dehydrated. We started to treat her with our worming regime and gave her some subcutaneous fluids to help her along.
She responded well and was putting weight on steadily but was getting bored with her hutch, we decided to move her to an outside pen that has a ramp leading up to an elevated sleep box (Hide Box), in the pen there is a “hogitat” so she can have a choice of sleeping places.
All went well for a few days until Saturday (the 14th) night when she decided she wanted to go out on the razzle. Ate her food, had a drink and then proceeded to move the internal baffle in the hide box, lifted one half of the floor panels and move it sideways. Then climbed out the hole at the back of the box.IMG_0035

After a brief search of the garden, fortunately it is secure so we knew she was there some where, she was found curled up along side our permanent resident Quinton in Quinton’s sleep box. Dread to think what the two of them had been up to during the night
If there is any possible way for a hedgehog to escape then it will find it, we know what she did but cannot work out how she did it, just waiting for what the next escapee will come up with!! Emma finishes her treatment on Tuesday and will be going back to Coventry where she was found, assuming she doesn’t escape again and get the bus home.

Janette Scott

Good day meeting people in Hornton (near Banbury) it was the village May Day Festival, Most of the villagers are monitoring the 10-12 feeding stations set up to provide for the Colony of Hedgehogs we have introduced to the village in order to bolster the indigenous population. Nice to talk to those involved and answer their questions and  allay their concerns. We had just started to set up our stall when we received a phone call from a couple who had found a hedgehog in their garden in Daventry that they were worried about, so they brought it to the Fair for us to look at, one of our colleague took it into her care to hopefully bring it back to health.

Just received a phone call from Bagington Garden Centre inviting us to their event on Saturday 7th May, 10am onwards as part of their contribution to Hedgehog Awareness Week. Hope you can come along for a chat about Hedgehogs and their wellbeing.




After a very busy but successful Easter week end at the National Herb Centre Craft Fair, sold lots of hog related items and received loads of donations helping to boost our funds. Our thanks to all those who donated, we are very grateful.herb centre                                                                    Lynda on our stall

Since then I’ve been very busy arranging to release all the 40+ hedgehogs that have been overwintered by an army of foster carers. Last one arranged today (21/04/2016) my birthday.

We have arranged for a mix of males and females to be released in the following villages:-

Clifford Chambers, near Stratford on Avon

Hampton Lucy, near Charlecote

and Hornton, near Banbury.

Latest report from Hornton is good, all the villages feeding stations are being visited regularly.

Come along to Hornton’s  May Day Festival on Monday 2nd May for a chat.









Surprise!! Surprise!!

Today 17th March, I received the below response to the petition we signed to help protect our Hedgehog friends!
It is typical that the government refuses to be proactive and actually do something, instead of just finding reasons to avoid putting any effort into doing something useful. Yet still manage to seem to be concerned!!!

Dear Brian Scott,
The Government has responded to the petition you signed – “Give the hedgehog better legal protection in order to reverse its decline.”.
Government responded:
We support measures to help hedgehogs. We do not believe it is appropriate to list hedgehogs as a protected species, which is best reserved for species deliberately killed or injured by humans.
The Government is concerned about the decline of the hedgehog. Whilst the reasons for the decline in numbers of this emblematic species are complex, we support efforts to make our gardens more hedgehog friendly and more friendly to wildlife generally and pollinators specifically.
To encourage the involvement of local communities we recently published advice for homeowners in the form of five simple steps to make gardens more hedgehog friendly. This advice can be accessed at:
We are impressed by the good work of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and the People’s Trust for Endangered Species in undertaking surveys to establish the facts and engaging the public, and support the majority of their 10 year strategy for the protection of hedgehogs. The Taxon Group, which is being led by Natural England, is also proposing a number of actions that address some of the objectives of the 10 year Strategy.
Hedgehogs are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 from being killed using prohibited methods such as a crossbows, traps and snares. However, further protection of hedgehogs by adding them to Schedule 5 will not support the species and may have unintended consequences because:
o the legislation makes it an offence to intentionally kill, take and injure and we have no evidence that this is currently an issue;
o protecting such a generalist habitat from destruction or disturbance could have the unintended consequence of making it a criminal offence to tend gardens; and
o it may deter the maintenance and creation of habitat for hedgehogs if there will be a restriction on land use as a result.
Since 2010 we have overseen work to create and restore over 100,000 hectares of priority habitat. Frontline programmes such as our agri-environment schemes have already restored or planted 30,000 kilometres of hedgerows. The new £900 million Countryside Stewardship scheme which started this year will further add to this valuable work by helping farmers, foresters and other land managers play a pivotal role in protection our wildlife and the countryside in general. In addition, the hedgerows and boundaries capital grants (part of Countryside Stewardship) announced on 1 February will also have a valuable part to play.
We are developing an ambitious 25 Year plan to protect and enhance our environment. It will move us to a more integrated and effective approach to managing our environment, placing local people and places at the heart of environmental decision making. This new approach will help equip people with the knowledge and power they need to take effective action on local environmental priorities, helping reverse the decline of iconic species like hedgehogs as part of this joined up approach.
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Click this link to view the response online:
The Petitions Committee will take a look at this petition and its response. They can press the government for action and gather evidence. If this petition reaches 100,000 signatures, the Committee will consider it for a debate.
The Committee is made up of 11 MPs, from political parties in government and in opposition. It is entirely independent of the Government. Find out more about the Committee:
The Petitions team
UK Government and Parliament
You’re receiving this email because you signed this petition. Unsubscribe


We do not usually collect rescued Hedgehogs, as we will be putting a lot of time and effort into their rehabilitation we expect the finders to bring the Rescued Hedgehog to us, However, there will arise the odd occasion when for some reason the finder cannot come to us.
As was the case when on 28th October 2013, we had to go to Lower Quinton to collect a small (178gm in weight) juvenile that had been found in the garden in the daytime not moving. When we arrived the Hedgehog was in a very poor condition, disorientated, dehydrated with a lot of ticks and fly strike. She was between 5-6 weeks old at the most. We cleaned her up and gave her subcutaneous fluids, placed her into a heated box to let her settle down and warm up.
Quinton 1e
“Quinton” as we received her.
She could not walk properly, would take a couple of steps then fall over onto her side. Her rear legs although strong when pushed against did not seem to respond to messages from the brain. We suspected that she had received a blow to her spine (possibly by a car) that had caused nerve damage to her spine, or possibly a vitamin deficiency. It was decided that we would see if time would heal the damage, rather than have her “Put to Sleep”. Working with our Vet (Emscote Vets, Warwick) we undertook the task of caring for “Quinton” as she was christened.
Having to be hand fed for two days she started to eat on her own from a bowl. We started to give her daily injections of Dexadresson (for two weeks) to help with any trauma and inflammation as well as putting B12 vitamins onto her food. We kept on giving the Vitamins onto her food for the next 5 weeks, during this time she was eating well as soon as the food was put out she would be there getting her nose into it. She now rolls onto her back (getting fat and round shaped) when she falls over and still struggles to get the right way up.

In November she stopped coming out to eat every night we suspected that she was starting to hibernate? She would eat on the odd occasion but generally slept most of the time. This continued until March 2014 when she started to eat all the food each night.
Unfortunately, there was not a great improvement in her condition, so it was decided that she could not be released into the wild. As it happens we had just been given a large hutch. So we created a secure pen for her in the corner of our garden. So on 4th April 2014 she was moved to her new outside home where she had access to a paved and grassed area to give her some variety of surfaces as well as a large double room nest area. She took to the new home straight away and seemed quite happy there, video clips showed her still having mobility problems but she seemed content to sit in a nest in one corner with her nose stuck between the mesh checking out the area. We extended the secure area to include a separate dining room for her food to be placed in order to make her travel further and get some exercise.
September 2014 saw her start to Hibernate again then starting to eat every night again in March 2015.
As she did not ball up we would take her with us when we gave talks to various interested groups, however she soon cottoned on to this disturbance and would try to bite Janette as she took her round to be seen. We now only take her if there is no other hog available.
September 2015 saw her go on holiday to a purpose built pen (the one built for “Tucky” see first blog) up to this point we expected her to need some form of support to help with her walking e.g. a row of bricks. However, on our return from our holiday we were told that she was walking unaided. We gave her access to all of our garden and video clips showed her walking all over the garden quite confidently without falling over. It has taken two years to get to this stage but has been well worth the effort.
September 2015 saw her start to hibernate again, coming out to eat regularly this February, she looks good, if a bit shaky on her legs, and is eating well.
Today Saturday 12th March we decided to place her back outside into her home pen she now weighs 1076gm, when the other Hedgehogs that are in other outside pens are released we will give her the full run of our garden again.
11pm just check up on her and she is out of the sleep box and found her food bowls, and is staring at the outlet to the garden wondering why it is currently blocked?
Quinton 16e
“Quinton” as she is now, just out of hibernation February 2016

By Brian


Many thanks to “Animal Canopy” charity who gave us a very generous grant to help with the purchase of some expensive medication.

Thanks also to the unbelievable generosity of the staff and customers of “Kenilworth Books” who have raised over £1000 for our funds in the last 12 months, we would struggle to do the work without such donations.
Special mention is due to Jim Thomason for supplying four batches of handmade fudge to join Tamsin Rosewell’s cakes and biscuits on the “Taste and Donate” feature in the book shop. To encourage people to donate to our funds.

We will be at the “National Herb Centre Craft Fair” over the four days at Easter, please come along and meet us for a chat about hedgehogs.

On a different note please visit the parliament website below and sign the petition to get the government to give protected status to Hedgehogs (the little dears need all the help possible}

Thanks again!


Last year we were contacted by Helen Barboutis from Stratford on Avon whose daughters and school friends were concerned about the lack of coordinated awareness of the plight of Hedgehogs in the Stratford area,
So they started their own campaign, beginning with their Facebook and Twitter pages and an open letter to Stratford. and could we let them see our set-up and what we did with the care of Hedgehogs brought to us.
They also have since persuaded the Head Teacher of their school to provide a wild life area and have dedicated teachers to be involved, as well as arranging for us to go along to the school and give our talk to two classes.
They have kept up their pressure to increase public awareness and have duly been recognised by reiving an award for pride of Stratford.

Processed with MOLDIV

Processed with MOLDIV

The girls are currently fostering three of our Hedgehogs all of which are doing well.
It goes without saying that everyone is proud of what they have achieved.
Please visit their Facebook page “hedgehog friendly town” for more photo’s, videos and information about their great work on behalf of hedgehogs.

Strange Days!

Various people are reporting strange hedgehog behaviour this year! Some hedgehogs are in hibernation, some waking up, others are active all night while others are not acting as normal as they usually are this time of year.

We suspect that this unusually mild winter weather is confusing them!

We have today (Wednesday, 10th February) received an email from one of our foster carers regarding “Henry” the Hedgehog.

Henry had stopped eating for three days and we did think that Henry may be hibernating – but on Sunday we discovered that he had unfortunately died.

On Tuesday we had “Hayley” brought back to us. Hayley was not eating very much at all and had stopped gaining weight.

We had our Vet give her a check over but found nothing wrong. Hayley was given an injection of Convenia (an antibiotic), and we will her a repeat dose in one weeks time. Hayley ate nothing last night and we gave her fluids to stabiliser her. We will try her with live mealworm tonight.

If you have any hedgehog stories we would like to hear from you.

Any don’t forget that you can always help our hedgehog friends by making your own garden hedgehog friendly. You can even make your own hedgehog feeding station for your own garden by following the simple instructions on our website here.

More updates soon!

Brian Scott

Tucky’s story

Our first Blog is a sad one, it is “Tucky’s” story. Not all have a happy ending but we try are best to make life as pleasant and varied as possible for the unfortunate Hogs that cannot be returned to the wild.

Brought to us on the 30th June, 2014 as a 90gm hoglet, Tucky was quite active and was hand fed for a couple of days. Then she ate well on her own, gaining a little weight each day up to 110gm.17





On 5th July 2014 we put her in with a small male of equivalent size (she was now 121gm), she was very huffy and tended to lie over the food bowls! She gained weight steadily up to 242gm.27







On 20th July we moved her to her own hutch and she ate well each night.

On 28th July we started a worming regime (Levacide, Bisolvon and Marbocyl) and she ate well for first part of treatment, now 366gm.

However, we noticed that her spines were white from root to tip.








On 23rd August at 620gm we put into a walled garden with a hyperactive male.

Tucky didn’t cope well, lost weight steadily to 451gm and would not nest. She just lay on top of any bedding or leaves.

We noticed that her spines were changing colour to a more gold body with a dark tip as opposed to a dark body and white tip.








She was later brought back to us and she built up weight to 580gm and then released in to a garden which has wild and released.

However Tucky did not respond to the presence of other hogs and just lay by the feeding bowls, without any other activity.

Again she came back to us on on the 9th -11th given a course of Dexadreson @1ml/kg,

Our vet check showed no wounds, fleas or ticks, her weight was reasonable, she was not obviously pregnant and her faeces looked normal.

We were concerned about this change of colour as in the photos, and a lack of any activity apart from the aggressive huffing and attempt to spike when touched. She also developed a habit where she huffed and bounced backwards as she did it, with her head down as if retreating from something.

Although inactive during day time, she managed to make a mess of her hutch base which became wet and damp and dirty during the night.

She then ate all the food put out for her within her hutch area but stayed by her food and didn’t return to the nest area. Weight up to 746gm on 2nd Nov.

15th January 2015: (Weight 1017gm) She was taken to Christina Sherman in Harbury to over winter and receive Complimentary Treatments.

2nd March 2015, she returned to us due to concerns about behaviour, sitting inactive for 3 days??

We built her weight up and kept her in one of our outside pens until a permanent large pen could be built for her by Christina.

Released into her new home in May 2015 but had to come back to us for a week so we could treat an ear infection she developed.

Returned to her permanent home 2nd June and she seemed to be quite happy there, as she has a varied environment to wander around in while not being bothered by other animals.
She escaped from her pen (under the gate we think), two days later she was back waiting by the gate to get back in.

Given a further worming treatment (by Christina to avoid disturbing her to much) as she was not putting weight on but eating everything. The treatment was obviously not totally effective.
She did not respond to a steroid treatment, so after a couple of visits to the vet it was decided that she should be put to sleep to avoid any further suffering.

We had Tucky for 19 months on and off, she obviously had a problem from birth, abandoned by her mother, we suspect some internal organ failure which stopped her from getting all the nourishment from her food which caused her rapid decline in the final 2 weeks.

Written by Brian Scott edited and big words added by Bill Bates

Will tell you “Quintons” story at a future date when she awakes from hibernation.