Toby: So, I’m in Inkersall. I’m meeting Donna Hatton, who runs Chesterfield Hedgehog Rescue and Rehabilitation. For the last three years Donna has been taking in hedgehogs that have been injured or found right across Derbyshire. She brings them back to health and releases them back into the wild. It’s proving very difficult but very successful and Donna has a campaign to try and get better facilities for the hedgehogs in her care. I am going to find out a bit more about the campaign today.
Donna, Hi. So, I mean, it’s great what you are doing to support the hedgehogs. Just tell us how did you get into it?
Donna: Basically, it was a few years ago. I found a couple of hedgehogs on the garden myself and took them to the vets realising that the vets didn’t know what to do with them. They didn’t know how to treat them or anything. The more I looked into it and realised how fast they are in decline I just thought I could do something to help here and it just went from there really.
Toby: That’s brilliant and I mean you have been doing it now for three years., very busy during the summer. I mean, how many have you had this summer?
Donna: The most I had 37, yeah, which was well past my capacity. Capacity is supposed to be 15.
Toby: Really, Goodness. Well, let’s come in and have a look, shall we?
Toby: So, Donna. You were saying you have got capacity for 15 hedgehogs. You have had as many as 37 coming in. What are the main things that you are actually having to spend money on running this charity?
Donna: Oh, gosh. The main thing is medications that are prescription only from the vets. So, they are not cheap at all. Obviously antibiotics, treatments and then the food as well because when the babies come in it’s Royal Canin pup mousse and Royal Canin pup milk that I use. So yeah, it’s not cheap.
Toby: So, I mean it’s ending up costing you more than what you are getting in in the small amount of donations that you had but I know that you, you know, really want to expand so that you are able to have a shed in the back garden and run a proper, sort of, hedgehog hospital here in Inkersall. Just tell us what you actually need to get from where you are at the moment to what you want to have.
Donna: Oh gosh. A lot of money really. Yeah, just to get an insulated shed, obviously it’s going to need electrics in there for the incubators and things cos you know, the hogs come in really poorly. So, yeah, financial assistance really.
Toby: I mean, when you’re supporting them, what training have you had to have to be able to provide assistance to the hedgehogs?
Donna: I did my training at Vale Wildlife Hospital at Tewkesbury and my mentor is Sally-Anne at Derby Hedgehog Rescue. I couldn’t have done it without her. She’s been fantastic.
Toby: Well, thank you so much Donna for what you are doings.
Donna: No problem. Thanks for coming out.
Toby: I think the Chesterfield Hedgehog Rescue and Rehabilitation is an incredibly important organisation. Hedgehogs need support. They’re so important and they are so endangered. So, if you’re able to support Donna’s charity please click on the Facebook link that we are enclosing here and give it any support you possibly can.