Twenty volunteer families needed to adopt and care for rehabilitated hedgehogs in Little Downham

Joules the hedgehog

Joules the hedgehog - Credit: Archant

Downham Parish Conservation Group and Hebbard’s Hedgehog Hotel in Little Downham are looking for 20 volunteer families to adopt and care for rehabilitated hedgehogs.

Monty on the scales

Monty on the scales - Credit: Archant

The callout, supported by Sanctuary Housing, is part of the ‘Hedgehog Habitats’ project – a community-based wildlife release programme starting in spring. Hedgehogs from rescue centre Hebbard’s Hedgehog Hotel in Little Downham, who are unable to be returned to their original homes after rehabilitation, will be released to three woodland sites around the village.

Volunteer families are needed to adopt a hedgehog house, visit the site weekly to check up on its prickly occupant and record conditions of the house, its environment, signs of disturbance or illness, put out food and water and weigh the hedgehogs in the autumn before hibernation.

Monthly meetings with project coordinators will also be required to discuss results.

Carol Hebbard, of Hebbard’s Hedgehog Hotel, said: “Hedgehogs really need our help.

Hog house

Hog house - Credit: Archant

“Populations have declined by over 70 per cent in the past 30 years causing them to become endangered.

“Each year we are seeing more and more being brought into the rescue too underweight to hibernate or suffering from illness.

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“We are really excited about this project which will help boost the local hedgehog population, monitor the progress and let families from the local community get involved and develop new skills.”

Full training will be given to volunteer families and a year’s commitment is required.

Simon Rudkin, Sanctuary Housing’s area manager, said: “This is an important project that allows people to get involved in helping to make a difference for local wildlife.

“We are happy to support the Hedgehog Hotel and the work of its volunteers.”

If your family would like to get involved then contact Carol Hebbard on 01353 698338 or via the Hebbard’s Hedgehog Hotel Facebook page.

The project was part-funded by Sanctuary’s Grand Ideas Fund, which is accepting applications from community projects benefiting Sanctuary residents and their communities.

To find out more about the fund, call 01905 335411 or email or visit