Hedgehog Haven

Hedgehog Haven Essex Rescue is a home-based Hedgehog Rescue.

'We rescue, repair, rehabilitate and release hedgehogs back into safe environments. We have two centres one in Frinton and another in Colchester. We cover the North Essex area and have even had the odd hedgehog from Kent, Harlow and Cambridge. Members of the public bring in sick, injured, orphaned and hedgehogs found out in daylight to us. We nurse them back to health, then get them up to a safe weight for release. We were established in 2007 and up until 2015 we have taken in nearly 3,000 hedgehogs [the statistics for 2016 have not been calculated yet]. We are finding the numbers of hedgehogs brought into us increasing each year.

We had been debating for sometime whether to purchase an incubator to help us with the tiny hoglets that get brought into us because their nest has been disturbed or the mother hog has been killed.

Initially the TLC because of its compact size allowed us to position it under a cabinet in our kitchen at the Frinton Centre. As this allowed us to monitor it constantly and also made it possible to carry out the 2 hour feeding regime comfortably. We may find a permanent position for the TLC in our Treatment Room as it is vital that is set up for immediate use.

We have had numerous litters of hoglets which needed feeding every 2 hours including through the night for the first 3 days. Every time we got one litter eating on their own, another litter came in. So the Thermal Life-support cabinet has been well used. We were apprehensive initially about using the TLC-40 wondering if we’d got the temperature right for them, but once we saw the hogs putting on weight and thriving it was a relief. Once these hoglets started lapping for themselves they could then be moved out of the incubator into a normal cage with a heatpad.

Then later in the year we had a number of very small collapsed and cold autumn juveniles which without help would not have been able to hibernate safely as they were under the recommended weight of 650g. A number of these hoglets were barely 100g and once again the TLC-40 was invaluable. Many of the autumn juveniles that come into us are cold and dehydrated and have been brought into us by the public saying that the hog looked as though it was drunk as it was staggering and wobbly. Once these juveniles responded to being warmed up gently [which the TLC-40 does] we could then administer fluids and necessary treatment.

The TLC is perfect for warming up and maintaining the hedgehogs temperature with the right humidity. We found when using heatpads and lamps that sometimes the hoglets would feel slightly sweaty. But with the TLC this doesn’t happen.

To summarise the best characteristics of the TLC:

• Easy to set up
• Compact machine
• Glass door allows full view of the patients
• Maintains constant temperature and humidity
• Hygienic – easy to keep clean and sterilise between patients

We hope to raise enough funds to purchase another TLC for the Colchester Centre in the coming year.'

Christine Boelrijk


The Hedgehog Haven Essex receives no funding and relies solely on donations. Fundraising is vital if the Haven is to continue feeding and caring for sick and injured hedgehogs. The Haven rescues around 400 hedgehogs a year and their annual bill totals £11,000 - this includes food, medication and vet bills. Any donations are very gratefully received.