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Our Hedgehog Hero

30/01/2024 Top News

Teacher by day, hedgehog hero by night! 🦔❤️ Mrs Laheney runs a rescue from her home, saving countless prickly pals.

What you might not know about Head of RE, Mrs Laheney, is that in her spare time, she runs a hedgehog rescue centre from her home at Pepperfield Farm.

Mrs Laheney was recently interviewed by the Daily Express newspaper and below you can read a transcript of the story that was published on Monday 29th January. You can also visit to find out more about the fantastic work that Mrs Laheney and her husband are doing to help protect hedgehogs in need.

“I Run an A&E for Hedgehogs”

Joanne Laheney, 58, an RE teacher from Catterick, North Yorkshire, runs Pepperfield Farm Hedgehog Rescue with her husband Terry, 63, a retired teacher.

“When a hedgehog comes to Pepperfield Farm it's on the verge of death, often hit by a car, attacked by a dog, or they've eaten slugs and developed lungworm. The life of every hedgehog counts, and myself and Terry work in shifts throughout the night to nurse the sick. Our home has now become a hedgehog A&E.

There's a set routine at our rescue, which we've run for three years. If a member of the public calls, we do a phone triage to make sure we can help- if the animal has a broken leg, or something we can't deal with, they need to see a vet. 

If we can help, the hog is admitted to our hospital, a purpose-built building attached to the house, and checked for dehydration, hypothermia and parasites like ticks or flies.

If dehydrated, we inject saline fluids. All the sick are put in incubators to keep them warm. If an animal has flystrike, we carefully remove the fly eggs with a mascara brush. It's time-consuming but rewarding to know you've stopped suffering. Sometimes, we need to syringe-feed the hedgehogs. 

When the animals are stronger and heavier, we transfer them for re-wilding to hedgehog houses dotted around our home's 15 acres. 

Once we're satisfied the hog is healthy, it's returned to its original environment, like a park, wood or graveyard. Or it's rehoused in a safe space - a home with a hog house, in an accessible garden, where they'll get feeding support.

I often have to explain to people, though, while they may have bought a hedgehog house, the animal might only spend one night inside, then leave to make its own nest. 

Hedgehogs are on the red list, meaning they're at threat of extinction, and it's crucial that people get involved. Making your garden hedgehog-friendly will have a positive impact on the hedgehog population in your area, and help one of the nation's favourite animals.”

JLa Hedgehog Daily Express 29-01-24