Hedgehog rescuers make a plea to gardeners

A hedgehog rescue charity has asked people to take care when caring for their gardens and coexist with the wildlife that comes in.

Shelley Brennan, 36, and her partner Nick Penniall, 38, founded the Peterborough Hedgehog Hotel about four years ago to provide special care for injured animals.

Their most recent intake included five piglets weighing between 14 and 21 grams (0.5 to 0.75 oz), who were taken in as newborns after their mothers failed to return to them.

The charity said it hoped more people would eventually learn how to protect and care for wildlife.

Mr Penniall said he and his partner would work shifts to care for the piglets, which needed to be fed every two hours day and night.

“We started this (Peterborough Hedgehog Hotel) when we got in touch with the National Exotic Hedgehog Rescue Service,” he said.

“Later we started adopting, fostering and raising money, and that’s when people started to know us as the hedgehog people.”

The couple set up the sanctuary from their home, which was once home to between 40 and 50 animals, before moving to a larger home.

Little feeding time ❤️ very happy with how they all handled the upbringing by hand, I just hope this continues. Enjoy the video 🙂 NB: I don’t wear gloves with such small piglets because their skin is so delicate and thin that there is a risk of injury if they stick to the plastic. In all other cases we wear gloves to minimize the transmission of zoonotic diseases

Posted by Peterborough Hedgehog Hotel on Tuesday 4 June 2024

Mr Penniall said they often saw animals poisoned by slug pellets or weedkillers, or with chemical burns that could be caused by certain sprays.

“People need to think about what they do in their gardens because it can have an impact on nature,” he said.

“We should be working with wildlife and living in context rather than excluding it… we should feel privileged to have wildlife come in.”

The charity also often sees hedgehogs injured by cars.

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