Hedgehog Release Sites

Each year Hamworthy Hedgehog Rescue take in many young hedgehogs who are raised to adulthood here at the centre, as well as taking in sick and injured adult hogs all year round. Once fully grown, fit and healthy, these hedgehogs need to be released back into the wild, and we run a Hedgehog Release Programme for members of the public who would like to assist us.

It should be stressed that these animals are not being rehomed as pets; the hedgehog may choose to take itself off as soon as it arrives, preferring the garden down the road as opposed to yours! However, by joining the release programme you are playing a vital role in our work: to get every healthy wild animal back into the wild as soon as possible.

As a general rule hedgehogs would preferably be returned to a safe position as close as possible to the site where they were found. When this is not possible, they would be released into a suitable habitat with sufficient food resources, minimum threat from predators (including man) and from aggression shown by dogs, foxes, badgers etc.

The most important factor when releasing hedgehogs into the wild is that the area already supports a hedgehog population. If there are no hedgehogs in your area then there is usually a good reason for this, and we do not want to release our hedgehogs in an area where they may not survive, or may not find mates.

There are other certain criteria which we would ask you to meet before applying to become a release site:

  • There must be suitable cover and the ground has an adequate food source.
    If there is a pond it must have shallow sloping sides, or ramp/stones that will assist a hedgehog in climbing out.
  • There should be no chain link fence in your garden – hedgehogs frequently get their heads caught in this and cannot reverse out.
  • A hedgehog is more likely to stay around if it has adequate shelter such as a hedgehog house. At certain times of the year we insist that you have a hog house.
  • Your garden must be unsecure. Ideally an able-bodied hog would be able to roam and prefers an area of up to an acre for its range (about 8 average sized gardens), and so we are looking for gardens that allow hedgehogs to roam freely.
  • You must live within a maximum distance of 10 miles from Hamworthy.

We do not release hedgehogs into an area with known Badger populations.

HOW TO APPLY

To apply to become a safe release site, please click on the button below to complete the form. Your details will then go on our waiting list and you will be contacted when we have hedgehogs available, so please don’t worry if you don’t hear back from us immediately.

The majority of our hedgehogs are released in the spring, but we release hedgehogs all year around so there may be quite a wait depending on when you apply, but please be assured that we will keep all applications and make contact when appropriate.

Please note that a volunteer from HHR may come and inspect your garden prior to you being accepted as a release site.