This all started with finding an underweight juvenile hedgehog late one October evening in 1994. We had our ups and downs with “Spike” and finding information was the next problem as none of the local veterinary practices had any depth of knowledge about hedgehogs. After contacting The British Hedgehog Preservation Society we then found The Welsh Hedgehog Hospital who were most helpful with advice and resulted in a happy outcome for “Spike”.
The next year our intake rose due to the vets passing them on to us and this then resulted in Wormit Hedgehog Care Centre being established and listed as carers with the BHPS. We are not a registered charity due to the fact that I was a self employed heating engineer at the time and did not have time to chase up all the requirements for charity registration and deal with my business, also we never thought that the centre would grow as big as it has. From one hedgehog we now admit around 300 a year(322 in 2008).
The centre is run by me (Sandy Boyd) and wife Alice who deals with the food preparation and washing dishes and towels. Last winter (2008-2009) we had between 70 – 80 in care and a lot were on heat pads and towels. As a centre dealing with hedgehogs, we receive a lot of phone calls asking for advice and help. We are always available to offer what help and support we can but ask for no calls after 9.30pm as our day starts before 5am and we therefore go to bed early. Whatever the problem, if it concerns hedgehogs, we will always try to find the answer.
At Wormit hedgehog Care Centre, we believe passionately in the importance of education in helping to preserve our heritage. Through school talks, presentations, our website and many other means of communication, we play an active role in helping future generations understand and learn about environmental issues that effect us all.
All the hedgehogs that come into our care are treated and rehabilitated completely free of charge, although any donations are always appreciated. As we are pensioners we always ask for the finder to deliver the hedgehog to us if possible. Our aim is to return every hedgehog that is capable of surviving back into its natural environment. Unfortunately, there are still too many incidents when the injuries – often deliberately inflicted by man – are so severe that they would be unable ever to be able to return to the wild or within the safe environment of an enclosed garden. Heartbreakingly, we allow any such animal the dignity of a peaceful and pain free death in a warm and comfortable environment. This is only ever as a last resort and every day with dedication and care allow us to see remarkable recoveries where others might have given up.
At Wormit Hedgehog Care Centre we are like other charities, always in urgent need of donations that will keep us functioning. All our income is spent on the Centre, there are no wages paid and the largest outlay is for food, heating, medicine and veterinary treatment. It cost an average of £1.50 per week to feed a hedgehog.
Please make any cheques payable to: Mr A Boyd as although the bank will now accept any made out for “Sandy Boyd” or “Wormit Hedgehog Care Centre” it does save the odd occasion when a teller is not too sure about accepting it and if there is a big queue it causes a bit of friction.
The future aims are to encourage others to consider setting up a rescue centre in this area and help to ease the burden on us. Old age comes to us all and one day you have to call a halt to what you can do but hopefully not abandon the needy hedgehogs. We receive hedgehogs from 60+ miles away so there is plenty of scope for others to run a small centre.