Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Stranded hoglets found in meadows given new home

Stranded hoglets found in meadows given new home

THREE stranded baby hedgehogs which were in danger of dying have found a new home at the offices of Invesco in Henley.

The creatures, which were found curled up in the baking sunshine near the River Thames at Marsh Meadow, are now living in the grounds of the company’s headquarters off Reading Road.

Janet Wood, of Boston Road, rescued the first two after she spotted them while out with her Jack Russell terrier Bob and a group of fellow dog walkers.

She feared they were vulnerable as they were lying on a patch of short grass so she contacted the Tiggywinkles hedgehog charity in Haddenham which advised her to take them in.

Ms Wood was told they were likely about eight weeks old and had probably started to venture away from their mothers while learning to fend for themselves.

However, they appeared to have become disorientated in the heat and were struggling to find food.

Ms Wood, who runs her own business, said: “I was concerned about them but I really wasn’t sure what to do so I phoned Henley Vets who put me onto Tiggywinkles. The indications were that something wasn’t right and they were in an area where a lot of dogs were walking past.

“Not all dogs pose a danger but some will flip them over and start attacking.”

She picked them up after lining her hands with a layer of dry grass to protect her from the animals’ spines then took them home in a box provided by another walker.

She fed them a pouch of cat food on the charity’s advice and between them they polished it off. She then kept an eye on them until late in the evening.

She said: “It was difficult to pick them them up, I can tell you, and I was amazed by how much they could eat. They had no fear of humans when food was involved - nothing was going to get in their way!”

Ms Wood was advised to look after them for about five days but couldn’t do this as her garden is fenced off so they couldn’t come and go as needed.

She left an appeal on the Henley Recommendations Facebook page which was answered by her friend Sally Collins, a fund managers’ assistant at Invesco. The company’s facilities manager Laura Jones had just overhauled the grounds to make them more wildlife-friendly, including an area with dense hedges and undergrowth.

Ms Wood brought them over the next day. Later that afternoon, she found a third hoglet stranded in the same spot on the meadow and ferried it over to join them.

The women, who have been friends for more than a decade, fed them increasingly large portions of food until they were able to find it themselves.

Ms Wood said: “It’s good that Invesco could help as there were surprisingly few locations that were suitable for hedgehogs. It’s no wonder that they’re threatened.

“I spoke to various friends but some were keen gardeners who used pesticides and others had fences or were too near hazards like golf clubs or swimming pools.

“You wouldn’t think to ask a big company like Invesco but the site is perfect as there are no cars in the evenings. I think the security guards were a bit confused when I kept turning up saying I’d come to feed the hedgehogs!”

Ms Collins said: “It’s a lucky coincidence that I saw Janet’s post as we’d just had an email from our facilities manager about the improvements.

“I haven’t seen them lately but you’re not meant to because it’s such a wonderful site for wildlife. They’ve hopefully found some nice ground to burrow in.”

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