Why aren’t you hibernating?

It’s a common question we hear around this time of year.

Short answer: it’s not cold!

Some older hedgehogs have taken the opportunity to have a nap but many of the younger ones are hard as nails.

Whist it’s relatively warm there’s still food available especially if people are putting out supplementary dishes, the hogs are still happy to keep foraging.

So might you see a hedgehog out on Christmas night? Yes! The current forecast is an overnight temperature of 4C, so it’s quite likely that there will still be some about.

Keep putting out food and water, and don’t forget to break any ice. Happy Holidays!

Quick Coronavirus Update

A big thank you to all those who have donated by text, GoCardless or Paypal. As all the shows are cancelled, our main funding source is no more and we’re now struggling to make ends meet whilst hedgehogs still continue to arrive at the hospital.


It’s looking increasingly likely that the shows we attend to raise funds and awareness are going to be cancelled.

This will mean fewer funds available to treat poorly hedgehogs, probably forcing us to turn away many that require help, in turn causing a drop in hedgehog numbers in the wild.

So please donate if you can so we can continue to treat sick hedgehogs.

Please feed me!

Doorstep hedgehogs

With the mild winter, hedgehogs are beginning to come out of hibernation. Here you can see four of our temporary residents chomping away on some hedgehog biscuits on the doorstep.

Food is scarce at the moment, and these hogs are ravenous after a short period of hibernation. Please leave out supplementary food for your hedgehog population, or many will have trouble finding enough food to survive. Despite it being wet, don’t forget to leave a shallow dish of fresh water too!

Get your hedgehog food here!

Releasing back to the wild

Someone insisted the other day that because it’s above freezing and wild hedgehogs are waking up early from hibernation that we should now be releasing our temporarily resident hedgehogs back to the wild.

We disagree.

Whilst it’s relatively warm, it’s also very wet, and releasing now would leave hedgehogs trying to build nests without any dry bedding material; would you want to sleep in a wet bed night-on-night?? Pneumonia anyone?

Wild hedgehogs that are waking up already have dry nests to snuggle up in at night and won’t be wasting valuable foraging time trying to make a nest.

Rest assured, they will be released soon, but only when they won’t suffer any detriment.

The downside of waiting is that we’re still very busy and have a backlog of restless hedgehogs waiting to go into pre-release for assessment.

Hoggies Respite at Castle Howard

Hoggies Respite will be at Castle Howard on the weekends of 15/16 and 22/23 February, in the Stable Courtyard

Come and discuss with us ways of helping hedgehogs to flourish in your area.

Get up-close with Hoggie, Dorothy or Aldi, one of which will be there to answer your hedgehog questions.

I’m watching you!

And for the very brave:

Skelf Island treetop adventure

For centuries the Skelves have inhabited a secret world, over the water from Castle Howard, causing mischief and mayhem high up in the trees, interacting with birds and protecting wildlife. Now they have become curious about the humans that visit and want to explore and play with them.

Goodbye Freda

Freda was brought to us last month severely emaciated. At some point in her life she had broken a front leg which had fused itself back together but not quite right. This may have been the start of her decline as she wouldn’t have been able to forage correctly, though she could now walk successfully.


As she was unwell, the parasites she’d contracted from eating inappropriate foodstuffs (slugs and snails) were a large burden to bear. Though through her treatment for this, it’s been a steep uphill battle to get her to eat and she’s been losing weight steadily passing some blood too. Occasionally we had success but not enough to make sufficient difference.

Unfortunately last night she haemorrhaged heavily leaving us no option but to put her to sleep.

Sorry, Freda, that we were unable to help.

Rest in peace.

Autumn Juveniles

Or should that be Winter Juveniles? We’re seeing a number of very small, often underweight, hedgehogs at the moment, and it’s nearly December!

As we’re about to get some cold weather, if you know you’ve got small hedgehogs, please give them some food to bulk their fat reserves so they can survive hibernating!

Royal Canin Mother & Babycat biscuits are excellent for this.

Philomena, found in need of help 25th November, weighing about 250g