VISITING THE HEDGEHOGS
In common with most wildlife rescues we are a home based set up. We do not have acres of land or dedicated premises for the animals. We have a small hospital building, pens and housing in the garden, overflow animals are placed in a room in the house.
We are not open to the public due to the nature of the work that we do and the stress that would be involved to wildlife casualties.
Whilst it would be very nice to allow visitors and charge a fee for people to come and see our work, there are a number of reasons why we can't:
- the health and welfare of the wildlife in our care is paramount and we will not put them at risk for any reason
- we are run entirely by volunteers and most of the time they are too busy dealing with patient welfare to break off and do tours
- Many of our patients carry transmissible diseases. We don't relish the idea of you arriving home with a nasty case of ringworm or scabies
- Emergencies turn up all the time and we would not have the space to shield you or your children from these.
- Opening to the public would require applying for and being granted a zoo licence with all the associated costs involved such as parking, toilet facilities, insurance etc.
We get a lot of requests from people who want to come and have a look round. In the past we have agreed to a special one-off for a parent and child who is particularly taken with hedgehogs. Unfortunately our trust has then been abused when they arrive and we discover the parent, the child, the next door neighbour and her children plus sundry others picked up along the way. We have had a coach party just turn up with no notification, and every now and then open the door to a family who have travelled some distance with their children thinking it will be a good day out during school holidays.
We may in the future consider having an open day but space is an issue. What we really need is donations to enable us to raise enough money to buy dedicated premises with sufficient room for a visitor centre and if anyone has a spare half million lying around doing nothing we wouldn't say no.
In the meantime if you want to take your child or community group to see animals there are a number of places you can do this: