General Advice

If you find a young animal, please be sure it needs help before  attempting to handle it. Every animal is better cared for by its natural parents if possible. If rescue is needed, please see the advice below and on the mammal and bird advice pages.

Remember all wild animals are afraid of humans and can go into shock easily. Wild animals cannot be comforted like domestic animals. It is best for the animal to limit the contact you have with it. If you need  to capture or transport/contain it, place it in a secure cardboard box  or pet carrier and cover the box/carrier with a blanket or towel.

Do not attempt to rescue any animal if it will put you in danger eg. on roads or near water. For larger birds or animals, always call a wildlife rescue centre or the RSPCA for advice. Do not do anything that is likely to cause harm to you or to others.

Baby hedgehog (hoglet)

Baby hedgehog (hoglet)

How To Help Your Local Wildlife

Hedgehog release at dusk

There are lots of thing we can all do to help our local wildlife to stay safe and thrive.

Wildlife-friendly gardening

  • Check the area before starting, particularly any areas of long grass/wild patches, and particularly if you are using a strimmer.
  • Keep netting off the ground - animals can get caught in it.
  • Pesticides and pellets harm wildlife - find wildlife-friendly alternatives.
  • Provide ramps in ponds and cattle grids, and cover drains and holes if you can.
  • Bird tables and baths are a grat idea, but remember to clean them once a week to avoid the potential for spread of disease.
  • Leave a patch of your garden wild. If you have space, consider a log pile or small pond (even a washing-up bowl sunk into the ground), but remember to provide a ramp so small animals can get out).    

Help our hedgehogs

As well as all of the above, there are things you can do specifically to help our spikey friends.

  • Put out food and water, particularly in hot weather. Hedgehogs enjoy meat flavoured cat/dog food in jelly or meat flavoured cat biscuits.
  • Hedgehogs can travel up to a mile a night, and need access to a large area in order to be able to find enough food. If you have an enclosed garden, cut a 5" square in the bottom of a fence panel or two to allow access in and out.
  • Log piles are attractive homes for hedgehogs and other wildlife, so if you're intending to have a bonfire, resite it before lighting it to ensure there's nothing sleeping in there.
  • Litter is a danger to hedgehogs and other animals and birds. They can get stuck in cans, plastic beer rings and other discarded items. Even if it's not yours, pick it up and bin it - you could be saving a little life.
  • Consider making or buying a hedgehog house and/or hedgehog feeding station. You can make them very cheaply with plastic storage crates, and it's a great project to get children involved in.

Get involved

Visit our 'How to Help' page for more information.