FOUR HEDGEHOGS were released back into the wild at Droitwich’s Gaudet Luce Golf Club last night.
It is part of a partnership between the club and Bromsgrove’s Willows Hedgehog Rescue centre.
The two breeding pairs were let go in wooded areas of the course with each one having their own individual wooden house, along with some bedding and dry food to help them start their new lives.
One of the hedgehogs was found in Cookley and had an eye missing while another, found in November, had a parasite burden and worms from eating slugs.
One was found covered in ticks and one was discovered last month by a dog walker after it had fallen it a canal.
Jayne Lawrence from the rescue centre said: “Not a lot of people know it but hedgehogs are really good swimmers.
“But the problem with canals is they struggle to get out because the sides are so steep.”
All the hedgehogs were good to go after being treated at Willows.
Before they were released, the surrounding areas were checked to ensure they were safe and there were no hazards.
Accompanying Jayne to release the hedgehogs was Ben James who has completed his animal care course at Halesowen College and has been volunteering at Willows.
Gaudet Luce Golf Club owner Martin Fernihough said: “It all began when I took my dog to the vets in Bromsgrove and saw a flyer about Willows.
“I got in touch with Jayne to see what we could do to make our golf course more wildlife friendly.
“Golf courses get a rough reputation of being clinical, mown and pristine.
“We have wanted to do something to improve the ecology and wildlife of our course for a long time and it’s great to have this opportunity.
“Andrew Lang (the course manager) and his team have deliberately left areas where people and golfers don’t go to grow so they will be perfect for local wildlife.”
Andrew said: “We don’t use artificial fertilisers and our approach to certain parts of the course suited Jayne’s requirements for releasing hedgehogs so it’s a perfect match.”
Jayne also made an appeal to residents at what is a critical time for the prickly creatures.
This hot dry spell has seen them struggle to find water and food as the ground is so hard they cannot dig for insects and other food.
She urged people to put water out, along with cat or dog food and dry biscuits.
“Hedgehogs are nocturnal so they should not be out during the day but because of the weather and a struggle to find food or water a lot of them have been lately and we’ve received quite a few calls.
“Anyone who finds a hedgehog in the day who looks busy should call us for advice on what to do but if they are lying down in the daytime, there’s a good chance they are in trouble – hedgehogs don’t sunbathe.
“If that happens, pick them up, put them in a box and call our rescue centre.”
For advice or to report a hedgehog in trouble, call 07518 354408.
For more on Willows Hedgehog Rescue or to find out about volunteering at the rescue centre, visit http://www.willowshedgehogrescue.co.uk or search for ‘Willows Hedgehog Rescue’ on Facebook.