Submitted by Steve on 12:41, 18th Sep, 2021 | 0

The GSPCA are never off duty and yester while out on his bike GSPCA Manager Steve Byrne rescued a young hoglet covered in flystrike with was also very thin and dehydrated.

The poorly baby hedgehog was in the middle of a lane struggling to climb the banks one Rue des Vallees in St Andrews.

Steve Byrne GSPCA Manager said “It was a busy day yesterday but at lunch I decided to go for a quick bike ride and when in the lanes in St Andrews I spotted the little hoglet struggling.”

“He wasn’t hard to catch and thankfully I always carry a few things in case of finding animals when out and about.”

“In fact last week when out on the bike I ended up a stray dog that was running in the road in Torteval.”

“The young hedgehog is likely to be under 8 weeks of age and was covered in fly eggs.”

“I called him ‘Rider’ and he’s in one of our Intensive Care Units at the GSPCA being looked after by the team.”

“Working for the GSPCA certainly is  a 24/7 vocation and we work around the clock to help the animals in Guernsey and as with Rider even during our lunch.”

"Last night we had another little poorly hoglet the finder called Gerald and it is rare for a day to pass that we don't help multiple hedgehogs."

There are many things you can do in your garden to help hedgehogs and to donate to our work helping 1000’s of wild animals a year and record numbers of hedgehogs please go to

There are many things we can all do to help hedgehogs; here are just a few:

  • Make sure hedgehogs can access your garden with a ‘Hedgehog Highway’ a 5” x 5” (13 x 13cm) square gap in the bottom of fences or walls should do it! Once created you can log these on the British Hedgehog Preservation Society BIG Hedgehog Map at
  • Create a log pile that will offer shelter and natural food.
  • Build a Hedgehog Home (see the British Hedgehog Preservation Society plans at
  • Move piles of rubbish to a new site on the day you are burning it and check it carefully before setting light to it, lighting from only one side so that there’s an escape route should you have missed anything.
  • Check areas carefully before mowing or strimming.
  • Ensure netting is kept at a height that allows hedgehogs to pass safely under it.
  • Check compost heaps carefully before digging the fork in.
  • Stop using pesticides and poisons.
  • Cover drains or deep holes.
  • Ensure there is an easy route out of ponds & pools.

Due to the huge numbers and many extremely sick hedgehogs we are in desperate need of additional Intensive Care Units which cost £600 each, but really help save lives and we also need donations towards their care and every penny really helps make a huge difference.

To support our appeal to help the many hedgehogs and wildlife in our care you can donate by visiting our appeal page by visiting .”

You might want to go one step further and purchase an intensive care unit and we have supplied the details for anyone or business or group wanting to donate something they can see make a real difference.

Large ICU’s -

Medium ICU’s -

Small ICU’s -

Steve continued “Last year we helped a record breaking number of hedgehogs and this year we have already had 448 through the doors.”

“With Winter fast approaching we will see increasing numbers as they struggle with decreasing resources and inclement weather.”

“There are many ways you can help hedgehogs both in your garden and  by supporting our work.”

“Hedgehogs are great in so many ways from helping eat the pesky slugs and snails in your garden to the smiles they bring to those that like to watch them and we hope that the Bailiwick of Guernsey will come together to support hedgehogs especially for this coming week and carry on into the future.”

“Maybe you want to support the hedgehogs every month, if so why not become a sponsor and Angel Pen Pal supporter and to find out more you can pop in or call us on 257261 for a leaflet or download a leaflet with all the details by going to .”

“If you find a sick or injured hedgehog we are here 24/7 on site and have a manned ambulance and if you need to know what to do please call us on 01481 257261 or check out the advice page .”

Over the last 10 years we have seen a steady increase in hedgehog numbers and here they are -

2020 - 729 hedgehogs

2019 - 618 hedgehogs

2018 – 472 hedgehogs

2017 – 562 hedgehogs

2016 – 491 hedgehogs

2015 – 374 hedgehogs

2014 – 394 hedgehogs

2013 – 315 hedgehogs

2012 – 496 hedgehogs

2011 – 137 hedgehogs

Total over the last 10 years = 4588 hedgehogs plus 448 hedgehogs from the 1st January 2021 to 17th September brings the number to 5036

Here are some hedgehog facts and tips to help them –

  • Any Hedgehogs seen out in daylight will likely need URGENT help, please call us for advice
  • Hedgehogs do NOT lie out sunbathing
  • Any cut hedgehog needs urgent help
  • Any Hedgehog with flies on it or maggots crawling on it needs VERY Urgent help
  • Any Hedgehog limping or walking strangely needs help
  • Anything hedgehog that looks very thin or wobbly or has bald patches or missing spines
  • Garden ponds and swimming pools - Make sure there is always an easy route for Hedgehogs to climb out of the water. Steps built out of house bricks are often used. Ideally, swimming pools should have shallow steps and a tight-fitting insulating cover should be used overnight.
  • Strimmers and hedge trimmers - These should be used sparingly under hedges and other areas of undergrowth.  Hedgehogs and other animals are likely to be resting there during the day.  The GSPCA see animals injured by these every month and if this does happen please contact us immediately or pop them to the Shelter as quickly as possible.
  • Drains - Drains and similar open holes frequently trap unwary Hedgehogs and they can starve if they are not rescued. Keep all drain covers in good condition and cover any open holes.
  • Litter - Litter is a real hazard and Hedgehogs frequently get their heads stuck in tins, plastic binders from drinks cans or discarded yoghurt pots.  Please make sure you dispose of your rubbish safely.   Also please ensure that you store any items for recycling in a safe place away from inquisitive Hedgehogs.
  • Nets - Nets particularly those used for tennis, football or cricket, must be furled well above the ground when not in use.  Hedgehogs often get entangled in these nets and die of starvation. Fruit nets are a similar source of danger but can be kept taut to stop animals getting entangled.
  • Pets – Dogs are often quite inquisitive when they see a Hedgehog in the garden.  It is important that your dog doesn’t try to play or pick up a Hedgehog as it can both injure the hedgehog and your pet.
  • Slug pellets - Slug pellets can poison Hedgehogs and should only be used as a last resort. Try using other methods such as beer traps or sprinkling fine sand or ground up shells around the plants you need to protect; rings made of cut down plastic drinks bottles can offer protection to individual plants and aluminium, sulphate-based products can be used over wider areas. If all else fails and you have to use pellets, place them under a slate which is inaccessible to Hedgehogs.
  • Rodenticides – There is new evidence that has shown that Hedgehogs are at risk from poisons put down for rats and mice. Although the bait boxes used should not allow Hedgehogs to get to the bait, slugs and snails are attracted to the bait and will then store the poison in their bodies, so when the Hedgehog eats the slug, they get the poison. So always seriously consider whether you need to use these chemicals and if so, please be very careful.
  • Bonfires - If you have to light a bonfire, always make sure there are no animals sheltering in the pile.
  • They have relatively long legs - about 10cms (4") and these enable them to run as fast as we can walk.
  • Their front feet are shorter and broader than their back ones.
  • The claws on their powerful front feet are particularly useful for digging.
  • Each night (when not hibernating) Hedgehogs will probably make a slow and apparently haphazard search for food and will travel between 2-3kms (1-2 miles).
  • They have small bright eyes but cannot see very well. At night they will use their excellent sense of smell and hearing to guide them.
  • Their weight will be largely determined by the food they get, but most one-year olds will weigh between 450-680gms (1-1½1bs).
  • Self-anointing is an activity only Hedgehogs do. It seems to be connected with strange smells or tastes that cause them to produce large quantities of frothy saliva. They then spread the foam over their spines by flicking it with their tongue.
  • If a young Hedgehog survives its early life in the nest and then its first hibernation, it can expect to live for 4 or 5 years longer. By this time it will be getting old but might live to the age of ten.
  • Generally they lead solitary lives and tend to go out of their way to avoid other Hedgehogs, except during the mating season.
  • Like most mammals the Hedgehog has a characteristic smell and this will usually warn other hedgehogs to keep out of the way.
  • In the mating season the male may be attracted by the different smell of the female and commence a rather prolonged and noisy courtship with her.
  • Hedgehogs do not pair bond - the female raises her young unaided by the male.
  • At the GSPCA we see more sick and injured Hedgehogs than any other species of wild animal.
  • The GSPCA when we release Hedgehogs ensure they are painted purple on their spines and we also microchip them.
  • Baby Hedgehogs are called Hoglets.
  • An adult hedgehog have between 5000 and 7000 spines
  • Hedgehogs were likely brought to Guernsey sometime in the 18th century
  • Hedgehogs really need the winter temperature to be below 5C to hibernate which means they do struggle to do this in guernsey resulting in hedgehogs arriving at the GSPCA almost daily all year round


Donate by calling  01481 257261, by post to GSPCA, Rue des Truchots, St Andrews, Guernsey GY6 8UD or online

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By leaving a gift to the GSPCA in your Will really helps us to improve the lives of animals into the future.  After providing for those you care for, please consider leaving a proportion of what remains to the GSPCA it is so appreciated and makes a real lasting legacy.

A gift like this to the GSPCA ensures our animals and those in Guernsey will always have someone to keep them safe. To find out more please 

Gift Aid on Donations over £500

To find out about the States of Guernsey tax relief information on gift aid up to 2020 on donations totalling between £500 and £5000 please see the details by going to

2021 gift aid is from £500 and up to £7500 and here are the details -

To download the form to claim for 2020 or before please follow this link

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In line with States of Guernsey advice please DO NOT visit the GSPCA if have been outside of the Bailiwick of Guernsey in line with their advice or have any symptoms of Coronavirus and we continue visits to the Shelter for only essential reasons and to please call us on 01481 257261 or email [email protected] before your trip to see if we can help without you coming to the Shelter. For the latest information and advice please visit

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