The Bilton Hogspital
Today’s meeting started at 1030 a.m. with Chairman Richard welcoming members and guests to our Open Meeting.
The speaker today was Teresa who was accompanied by her husband Robert from The Bilton Hogspital.
Teresa spoke about her work with Hedgehogs over a 25 years period. Richard set up the excellent visual aids.
Teresa explained the life cycle of hedgehogs and also about the injuries they sometimes suffered.
The talk was well illustrated with photographs. She did bring a live hedgehog which we saw for about ten minutes. This animal had been with them for rehabilitation and would be returned to its habitat this week.
The main aim of the talk was to make us well aware of this wonderful animal at a time their numbers have plummeted. This once common garden friend is in serious trouble!
We can all help by taking part in Hedgehog Street. Hedgehogs can travel more than a mile each night in order to find enough food or a suitable mate, often passing through several gardens. So we need lots of volunteer Hedgehog Champions to rally the support of their neighbours and create streets full of interconnecting hedgehog-friendly gardens. Visit the website: www.hedgehogstreet.org to join in. For one example a gap of 13 x 13cm gives access to your garden. That is the size of a CD cover. The British Hedgehog Preservation Society provides a leaflet on Creating a Wildlife Garden.
Hibernation is a complicated and often perilous conservation strategy. It is not just ‘going to sleep.’ When asleep all bodily functions remain nearly normal; but in hibernation metabolism is almost at a standstill.
Towards the end of autumn, hedgehogs consider the best places to build nests (called hibernacula). Favourite sites are under hedges and roots of trees, in piles of brushwood, inside compost heaps or in old rabbit burrows and underneath timber buildings and sheds. You can see the dangers! For further information check out www,britishedgehogs.org.uk
Some hedgehogs live to the age of ten.
It was an enjoyable meeting which was well received by all. We now know how we can help this small endangered creature to survive.
The Bilton Hogspital is a private hedgehog rehabilitation facility based in the Bilton area of Harrogate. It is run by Teresa Marshall, who started caring for hedgehogs in this way in 1995. Although Teresa is listed as a hedgehog carer by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, the Bilton Hogspital is completely independent, voluntary and unfunded.
The vote of thanks was given by Roy Smith.