Grace's population is declining at an alarming rate. Once a common garden visitor, the population of hedgehogs in the U.K. has declined from 30 million in the 1970's to around 1 million or fewer today—at that rate they may be threatened with extinction by 2025. Habitat loss, intensive farming, new development projects, and increased road traffic are just a few of the many threats facing hedgehogs and other wildlife. For wildlife to thrive they need only two things: a safe habitat and food. If either is destroyed, their numbers decline. Considering the alarming rate at which we are destroying both, it is amazing that Grace and hedgehogs like her are able to survive at all. She really is amazing!
Our goal is to help Grace and her friends so that their population can recover and reach sustainable levels, with reduced threat to their collective survival.
At Harper Asprey Wildlife Rescue, we have treated hedgehogs for over 30 years and have seen shifts in the reasons for admission as new threats associated with our ever-changing and increasingly modern world become more prevalent. Lungworm has become more common in the environment and hogs have shown greater susceptibility, gardens have become less welcoming as mowers and strimmers mutilate unsuspecting hedgehogs, pesticides poison hedgehogs and their food supply and the list goes on.
Rescued hedgehogs like Grace need a safe home to be released in, but we have seen a massive decline in safe, sustainable environments for her and her friends. We therefore must do all we can to help the hedgehogs—but we need your help. Please join us and make your space 'Grace Friendly'. You may be able to introduce plants that attract the food she needs, buy her a home, remove hazards from your workplace or garden and connect green spaces and gardens with simple access routes for her. With your help we can save Grace and halt the decline of British hedgehogs. Please help her and, in doing so, you will be helping lots of other wildlife.
In the making of our #AmazingGrace video, we used one of our rescue hedgehogs: Grace. The music is performed by Dr. Brian May and Kerry Ellis.
Although hedgehogs are mainly nocturnal animals, the film was shot during the day so that you could see the full beauty of the hedgehog. It was a considered decision and Grace was monitored throughout the filming process. Contrary to popular belief, healthy hedgehogs can be seen during the day - for more information, visit the Get Involved page.
The filming was completed over four days, at two locations. We filmed on site at the wildlife rescue and at a release site. During filming, Grace was allowed to freely wander and we followed her without interference.
Our hospitalised hedgehogs are cleaned and fed in the morning whilst in the rescue, and get used to feeding through the day. Their food and water is topped up at night in strictly controlled quantities - they have a tendency to over eat. When they are moved to our outside pre-release runs, we continue this routine for a few days, after which we change to night time feeding only. At this stage, our hedgehogs immediately resume their nocturnal behaviour. If cared for correctly, the innate instincts of all wildlife will return after being released from a rescue.
Hedgehogs remain in the pre-release runs or gardens for several weeks to ensure they are feeding and that they react to light and to humans by fleeing, freezing or curling.
Grace has now been successfully released.