Submitted by Steve on 11:47, 12th Aug, 2020 | 0

Last year the GSPCA saw a record breaking 618 hedgehogs come through the doors and 2020 is set to be even busier.

Between the 1st January 2019 and 12th August 2019 we saw 330 hedgehogs which was a record in our 147 year history and this year between the same period we have already had 399 hedgehogs arrive meaning it looks like another record breaking year for hedgehog numbers.

Despite lockdown the GSPCA has been incredibly busy and especially with wild animals.

Steve Byrne GSPCA Manager said “2019 was a record breaking year for the numbers of hedgehogs at the GSPCA and 2020 is already setting new records.”

“From the start of the year to this date last year we help helped 330 hedgehogs and for this year we have topped that by 69.”

“In recent weeks we have had days where we have helped 13 new arrivals of our spikey friends.”

“The top reasons we see hedgehogs arrive at this time of year include those with mange, dehydration and many injured from garden instruments such as strimmers and hedge cutters.”

“It is so important to check areas before carrying out gardening tasks as by doing so you could help save the life of a hedgehog or birds that may be at risk.”

“With the warm weather we can all help hedgehogs from putting out fresh water and feed, whether it be actual hedgehog food sold at many shops or meaty dog or cat food.”

“The best food is tinned at this time of year with all the moisture content and for those wanting to go steps further why not leave an area of the garden to get a little over grown or add to your hedging or even pop a hedgehog house in a corner.”

“You can also help us help the hedgehogs here at the GSPCA such as sponsoring a hedgehog pen, making a donation or even an item from our Wish List.”

“With so many sick and injured animals our intensive care units have been full to capacity and we are always in need of additional units which can be seen on our wish list.”

“Every day is a real struggle to raise the funds to care for the hundreds of animals in our care and for those that do become a regular sponsor it makes a huge difference to ensure that we can care for the 1000’s of animals through our doors every year and the record breaking number of hedgehogs.”

“To become a sponsor and Angel Pen Pal supporter you can pop in or call us on 257261 for a leaflet or download a leaflet with all the details by going to .”

“With huge challenges on our resources and a drop in income from boarding and donations you can donate to our #GSPCACoronavirusCrisisAppeal by going to .”

“To see our Wish List items and plans please visit .”

“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 .”

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
  • 2019 the GSPCA had a record breaking year with 18 hedgehogs through the doors
  • 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

In line with States of Guernsey advice please DO NOT visit the GSPCA if have been outside of the Bailiwick of Guernsey in the last two weeks 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

The GSPCA continues with all essential services and we plane to phase other services back into operation and to find out more please visit -

With huge challenges on our resources and a drop in income from boarding and donations please help us help animals in Guernsey with our #GSPCACoronavirusCrisisAppeal by donating online via -

During these difficult times help us help animals in need. From donating to Sponsoring a Pen, Buying a Brick for the much needed Wildlife Hospital to our Amazon and main page Wish List, holding a mufti day to a sponsored Christmas dip, here are some of the ways you could help give animals joy.

Some of the upcoming events you can see us at include –

  • Le Friquet Family Fun Day on Saturday 8th August 2020
  • Arts Seafront Sunday on the 9th August 2020
  • Bailiwick Big Day Out on Sunday 16th August 2020
  • Lions Club Guernsey Together Celebrates on Saturday 22nd August 2020
  • Motor Seafront Sunday on the 23rd August 2020
  • Our biggest event of the year is back on being our GSPCA Animal Welfare Seafront Sunday on the 13th September 2020 -

For volunteering information please visit or call 257261

To find out more on talks and our education work please email [email protected] or call 01481 257261



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