"My cat caught a little fledgeling. I contacted Brent Lodge Wildlife Hospital. They were brilliant, they looked after him and hand-reared him until he could be released. A brilliant service especially in these difficult times." Lorraine
Patients at the hospital are constantly changing and we are now through the busy winter hedgehog care season and once healthy and up to a good weight, we gradually released hundreds of these over-wintered hedgehogs back into suitable local habitats. The freed-up space is now needed to house the impending seasonal influx of sick, injured or orphaned birds and mammals with young garden birds, rabbits, fox cubs, owls and newborn hedgehogs already in our care needing around the clock feeds.
Young wildlife need to be warm and secure, without their mothers to care for them they are kept in incubators and creches which have heated plates to sleep and hide under. When strong enough they move to an outside enclosure where they grow and develop their natural behaviour. Here birds can bathe, preen and water-proof feathers and mammals have space to rest and recuperate prior to being released back into their natural habitats.
"A warm and friendly organisation doing an incredible job with total professionalism" Jim
"A sanctuary for wildlife in need. ❤ Dedicated, knowledgeable, compassionate and hard-working team. I really admire their "hands-off" approach. Keeping wild animals wild, ready to be re-released when better. They are currently looking after a wee fox cub I helped to rescue who is coming on leaps and bounds with the other cubs in their care." Dora
What impact do we make?
Where possible we release rehabilitated wildlife back to their natural habitat as soon as they are fit and healthy where they may be part of a family group or territory. Our staff undergo vital training sessions to learn about animal handling, medical treatment, proper diet, species behaviours and release criteria. This gives wild animals the best chance of survival and helps to stabilise the local wildlife population and secure the future of some declining species.
The UK has very few specialised wildlife rehabilitation centres capable of providing the appropriate treatment and necessary care facilities to wildlife casualties. Being a well-respected source of wildlife care and knowledge for the local community, we aim to assist local RSPCA inspectors, wildlife police officers and veterinary clinics who are not always as well prepared to manage such a variety of wildlife casualties.
"Thank you so very much for taking in our 14 Mallard ducklings. We are so very sad to see them go, however so excited to know they will have a happy and free life. I cannot thank the team enough." Paige
"I brought in a young woodpecker who had been attacked by crows. They were so quick to take him in and get a look at him. They gave me a really nice update on how he is doing. He’s in great hands. I’ve also done some volunteering here, the volunteers are amazing. What a brilliant place " Emma
How do we assess our work?
Reliable research and local survey data help us to put our Mission and Aims into context which help us interpret the impacts of our work. One overly concerning conclusion produced by The British Hedgehog Preservation Trust discovered that in the last 20 years there is an estimated 30% decrease in urban hedgehog populations. Hedgehog numbers have declined dramatically in recent years mainly due to habitat loss, environmental damage and human influences causing a negative impact on wildlife populations and impacting the enrichment of local habitats.
One of the main requirements of a healthy wildlife habitat is to protect at least a minimal number of wild animals so the population can increase. Each year our dedicated team aid hundreds of vulnerable hedgehogs with the aim to release healthy breeding pairs back into local habitats - helping to stabilise the local population and ensure the future of their species.
What is our story?
We started from humble beginnings in 1971 when our Founder, Dennis Fenter, began treating wild bird casualties in his back garden. Thanks to the support of a dedicated team of staff and volunteers spanning 50 years we have now grown our facilities, knowledge and expertise to treat over 125 different UK species. Our amazing volunteers help with a variety of tasks from animal care, administration, maintenance and retail - providing a vital network of support across the entire charity and helping individuals to develop transferable skills and gain confidence.
Our long-term vision is to become a wildlife hospital built for the 21st century providing the very best treatment and care facilities for our patients. We started our ambitious 5 stage redevelopment plan in 2016. To date, we have completed 12 bird of prey aviaries, 7 water pool enclosures and we are currently building 7 large mammal enclosures. To mark our 50th anniversary in 2021 we will begin fundraising for the next stage of our plan - to construct a patient quarantine building. The final stage will be to build a new modern hospital.
"I was lucky enough to volunteer here and help with getting the new aviaries ready. A fantastic place with super staff who do an amazing job." Helen
"We volunteered here though our company, it was an amazing day helping with the hedgehogs and painting. The place is fantastic and the people work so hard to save all the lovely animals." Rebecca
How your support will make a difference?
The start of our busy season is already underway and we are currently treating 100-150 wildlife patients a week. With this number rising, we anticipate taking in over 1,500 vulnerable wildlife casualties by the end of the summer. Volunteers would normally be essential, however, due to the Coronavirus outbreak, we are without our network of volunteer support. With warmer, longer days and many more mouths to feeds, we will be relying on our committed team more than ever, ensuring each patient receives the same level of care they deserve but with fewer hands to help.
"I found a very disoriented hedgehog at my feeding station. The poor little hog was very underweight and had terrible mange on its face so I took it to Brent Lodge. The wonderful staff were working hard to look after all their rescued aminals and birds. I can't praise them enough for making a difference to the animals lives." Jenny
Your support could help us provide animal care, veterinary treatment and the necessary resources to manage the change in patient care routines to get patients healthy and ready for release back into their natural habitats.
The ever-changing public health measures to deal with the Coronavirus are having a huge impact on how we operate and fundraise. With cancelled fundraising events and our main funding source cut after the temporary closure of our charity shops, we are already seeing a drop in direct funding and strain on resources - so we need your support more than ever.
"A great charity who do their best to deliver quality animal care in hard financial conditions. I've bought in a couple of animals over the years that overwise would have no hope. Well done all of you." Wez
With thanks to Fox Guardians UK for producing this film about our work.