Hedgehog Haven was established in 2007 by friends who have shared an interest in British wildlife for many years. We learnt of the plight of hedgehogs and their struggle to survive and decided to set up a small rescue centre in order to give them the best possible chance in life.
We are based in Frinton, Colchester and Witham in Essex and provide a rescue and rehabilitation service, funding veterinary treatment, surgery and medication where needed. We regularly receive hedgehogs who are victims to vehicles, poisoning by slug pellets or discarded litter. We also take in underweight autumn juveniles who would be unlikely to survive hibernation without intervention. Following over wintering at the Haven, these hedgehogs are then released back into the wild the following spring. Ideally, Hedgehogs should weigh over 600g as they approach hibernation in October / November.
We also offer people a point of contact for help, information, advice and assistance. We aim to inform as many people as possible to the needs of hedgehogs and how they can help.
It's claimed that hedgehogs could become extinct in the UK by 2025 if their current rate of decline continues.
They are an endangered species and included in the bio diversity action plan. There are several reasons for their decline, but together we can help this mammal survive the 21st century.
Hedgehog Haven Essex receives NO funding and relies solely on your kind donations. We rescue around 400 hedgehogs a year and our annual bill totals £11,000 - this includes food, medication and vet bills. We CANNOT do this without your help! We urgently need your donations to allow us to continue caring for hedgehogs, who face a bleak future of extinction. If you can help in any way please contact us or click on our hedgehog DONATE button.
This is where all new arrivals to the Haven are cared for until they are fit to be released back into the wild or re-homed. Every morning, all hogs are weighed and given a thorough examination. They are given any medication they need, cages cleaned and fresh bedding, before being fed.
Liz examines a stool sample from a sick hog, looking for worms and other parasites and Sarah weighs one of the hogs during his daily examination..
Our 'Hibo' Shed is full to the brim of specially made cages for our hogs to hibernate in over the winter months. To hibernate safely, our hogs must be fit and well and up to a satisfactory weight - ideally 600g. They can then be moved into the Hibernation shed where they will continue to be cleaned and monitored on a daily basis until they decide to go into hibernation.
Inside each of the cages is a small box which is packed with hay and newspaper, designed for the hogs to hibernate in safely. The Hibo shed is not heated and so mimics the same conditions that hogs need to hibernate in the wild.
Soft Release Gardens
Once a hog has been nursed back to health, it can be moved into the garden in order to prepare it for release back into the wild.
Our soft release gardens are secured with fencing and are filled with log piles, shrubs, hedgehog houses and a variety of things for the hogs to sniff and dig around in before being released. The gardens have to be cleaned out daily and hogs still receive a daily check in order to identify any problems they may face fending for themselves in the wild