Ok, think I'll start off by giving you a potted history of how I became interested in wildlife, and mainly hedgehogs. I have always had a passion for animals, you know I'm the kind of person who picks up worms and snails from the path and puts them on the grass, it quite often takes us ages to get to school, and we're usually late, but the kids don't mind and they've even started the habit now!!!!
I had my first hedgehog about 3 years ago, brought home by the children because some children had been kicking him about (how adorable the little darlings). It always amazes me downadays how some children are brought up with no respect for living creatures, we should all respect nature, if we take time to look around we'll realise it is truly a wonderful thing. Sadly this little guy didn't make it, but he started me on the 'hedgehog road', bless him!!
I have taken in numerous animals and birds, a beautiful collared dove that I found in the garden last year covered in mud and looking very traumatised, mice etc etc etc.
I overwintered two hedgehogs last year, collecting them in the autumn as tiny little autumn juvenilles and releasing them in the Spring, looking more like footballs. I soft released them into a pen for about a week and then took the pen away, I then provided food and water for them, as I do anyway for all my visiting hedgehogs. They came back for a few days and then I saw them occasionally (yes I know one hedgehog looks very much like the other, but I had marked them). I hope they are now safely tucked up hibernating somewhere ready for Spring and will then be getting back to things hedgehogs do best.
Currently I have four little bundles of prickles, they are Button, Bee, Bill & (yes you've guessed it) Ben. They came in between October/November last year all around the 300-350g mark and are now residing in my utility room and Button and Bee are just over 800g and Bill and Ben are around 600g and 700g respectively. I am considering whether to put the larger guys out in the shed now the weather has turned a bit milder, and encourage them to hibernate for a couple of months. I will obviously provide them with a beautifully warm and dry sleeping compartment and all the food and water they can drink until they decide it's time to get forty winks. They will then be ready for release in Spring. Bee has done particularly well as when she came in she had mites and lost a lot of fur and spikes, with quite intensive treatment she is now looking beautiful, all the fur and spines have grown back and she is becoming quite a rotund young lady.
I only live in a very small terraced house on a housing estate with quite a small garden, but with some encouragement it's absolutely teeming with wildlife and I hope you'll enjoy my tales, I know I'll enjoy sharing them with you.