Help4hedgehogs local hedgehog calendar now available

Cute hedgehogs are starring in a local calendar to help a rescue centre continue its work. Help4hedgehogs in Herstmonceux has been taking photos of some of its many hedgehog patients to create next years 2024 calendar. Britain's favourite mammal is now officially classed as vulnerable to extinction - and Tas and Terry Clarke are doing their bit to help.
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Help4hedgehogs began around four years ago, after training with the British Hedgehog Preservation Society at Vale Wildlife in Teweksbury. They began by using a spare bedroom and a insulating a wooden shed at their home in Windmill Hill. However, as more and more residents come through their doors, Terry and Tas find it hard to keep up at times. "I came home from work this week, twice to find an extra two hedgehogs had arrived each day" said Terry, that was not including the two he collected as well.

Tas explained, "Last year we took in over 100 hedgehogs, most of whom would have died without our help. This year we have already exceed 175, and we are only just seeing the start of our busy winter period." "At the moment we are getting a lot of young juveniles, some have been orphaned, some are just too small to survive hibernation, but many have been washed out of their nests due to the recent bad weather". Help4hedgehogs gets calls about hedgehogs every day and although they do their best to take them sometimes they do not have the room. "We like to try and divert people or just give advice where we can - but as we are open 24 hours a day, we really try hard to help as much as we can. Even if that does include sometimes having one or two in travel incubators whilst they wait for a room", said Tas.

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Terry works full time for Bexhill Caring community, as a driver but he manages to help transport hedgehogs after work. Tas is helped out by a couple of volunteers, one Katie- who comes as often as she can to help clean, feed and nurse the hedgehogs, Katie also sorts out all the social media content. Local neighbour Tess doubles as hedgehog helper, emergency hedgehog ambulance driver, garden advertiser and rehabiltation release site. Help4hedgehogs, has a team of qualified release sites, and although most are returned to their finders gardens, if it is not safe to do so - rehabiltators know how to keep an eye on a hedgehog new to its area by soft releasing. When Tas is not working on the hedgehog ward she is designing artwork to sell to help raise money, this has included christmas cards, leather goods and hand engraved glasses. Money raised from these helps feed the hedgehogs in the sanctuary, that may not be able to be released due to certain medicval conditions. Terry also does not rest, as hes often building hedgehog houses for releases, visitors and of course, designing and making more shelving units for the hogspital wards.

Helping the hedgehogs all yearHelping the hedgehogs all year
Helping the hedgehogs all year

"It's a full time job in itself" said Tas, adding "If it was not for our supporters and the wonderful staff at Horsebridge veterinary practice, we wouldnt be able to look after and treat as many needy hedgehogs as we do."

They want to expand and create a better rescue facility one day, but despite having a band of supporters who make donations or sending Hedgehog food parcels, they struggle with fundraiing as day to day running costs can easily exceed £500 a month. Therefore, they have released their second photo calendar. All the images featured are from some of the little characters that help4hedgehogs have cared for. Many, like Sophia in January has now been returned to the wild, or like Sonic (september) is living his best life in the sanctuary after a leg amputation. All of the profits from these £10 hedgehog rescue calendar's will be going directly to help4hedgehogs.

Tas and Katie often give talks about how you can help the hedgehogs in your area, and will attend many local club/group events. They bring along a projector and slideshow for an agreed donation so that not only will you learn how to find and the help the hedgehogs, but the donation goes to helping the hedgehogs too.

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