We have almost a hundred hedgehogs in the wildlife unit at the moment, along with a variety of birds, and no doubt many, many more hedgehogs will arrive over winter. These guys will be our guests until mid spring or until it begins to warm up.

Meet this poor little chap, sadly he’s lost the vast majority of his spines due to ringworm and a possible zinc deficiency. Thankfully, he was found in time and will now receive all the TLC and treatment he desperately needs.

Here’s another hedgehog who is well on her way to good health after being successfully treated for ringworm, which afflicts many hedgehogs, resulting in them losing their spines.


We also have a rather irritable hedgehog who has taken to biting the staff, generally, hedgehogs are wonderful patients as they tend to be passive and simply curl up when being treated.

To find out more or how you can help, please click HERE. http://bit.do/over-wintering.

Unbelievably, we admitted a duckling recently, what on earth is going on???

What we need this week

We urgently need long shredded paper as we are running extremely short, also towels, hedgehog food, non-fish flavoured cat biscuits and cat food to care for and feed our overwintering hedgehogs.

A huge, huge thank you to anyone who can help, we really do appreciate it.

I know it’s not wildlife but….

How cute is one of our residents pigs hunkering down for winter!

Out and about in December

This is the time of year when bats go into torpor and begin hibernating. They often seek out disused tunnels and caves which have the ideal temperature and humidity they require. It’s not uncommon to find bats with droplets of water [due to natural forming condensation] all over their bodies.

It’s also a good time to look out for owls now as the trees are bare which makes it easier to spot them.

December is a busy month for foxes as it’s now mating season which means foxes are now seen travelling in pairs.

Also, listen out for robins, one of the few birds that sing day and night throughout the year. They do this to defend their territories and if challenged, will fight, often to the death.

Did you know….

that foxes have exceptional senses and are able to use the earths magnetic field to help pinpoint their prey under snow and in long grass.

Bats, hedgehogs and dormice are the only British mammals that truly hibernate.

That 40 million birds have vanished from British skies over the last 50 years according to a report published by the RSPB, and that half of all insects have been lost since 1970 as a result of the destruction of their natural habitat and the heavy use of pesticides. Sadly, 40% of the one million known species are also facing extinction.

Please remember to….

Leave food and fresh water out for the birds this winter.

Keep all pets warm and secure as firework season is upon us once again…sighs.

Also, please leave piles of leaves and twigs for hibernating hedgehogs and bees, butterflies and beetles that haven’t died and are now in winter torpor.

And Finally……..

We would like to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you a very merry little Christmas and a happy, healthy, prosperous  2020. Thank you all for your endless support, you have no idea how much we all appreciate you.

Always remember to seek advice from the wildlife staff before bringing an animal to the rescue. If an animal is seriously injured, please take it to a vet as we don’t always have a vet on site. Most vets treat wildlife for free.

Wildlife this Christmas
22 Dec, 2019

It is with a heavy heart that we must tell you that Monkey has sadly passed away today.

Monkey passed away surrounded by his devoted family. His life was, in so many ways, symbolic of the profound and powerful impact that rescue animals have on our lives, and how honoured we are that they give us their love.

Monkey came into our care at Freshfields back in September 2012. He was due to be put to sleep, incredibly, because he had a case of fleas!

We all fell in love with Monkey, a wonderful Staffordshire Bull Terrier with a fantastic personality, great courage and a big heart. He was quickly adopted. He had a lovely home, but sadly a year later his new dad passed away and Monkey found himself back at Freshfields.

Monkey was heartbroken, and very confused. He had some health issues, including glaucoma, so he had limited eyesight and some hearing problems. He was also suffering from arthritis. He later became completely blind, having both eyes removed some years ago.

Despite this, Monkey loved life and was more like a puppy in his behaviour, enjoying playing on the field with the staff and having fun with his toys.

We were determined that this loving dog would find a forever home, and launched a campaign to find that special family who would bring him the joy and affection he so dearly deserved. Monkey’s Rehoming Appeal was covered by local and national media. We all had our fingers crossed for a happy ending to Monkey’s story.

It was a wonderful feeling on July 4th, 2017, when we waved farewell to Monkey as he left to start his new life with David Brocklehurst and his family.

David takes up the story…
‘When we first met Monkey, we knew that we wanted to make him as comfortable as we could. He looked like he was in pain all the time. Then, when he came home, he suddenly became a pup!

David said:
‘Freshfields were amazing, and Monkey loved going back there for his treatment. The number of people who got in touch with us was fantastic. The best thing we can do for Monkey now is to give our baby a lovely end to his life. We will miss him so much, but he will be close to us forever, in our garden’.

All of us at Freshfields want to pay a heartfelt tribute, not just to Monkey, but to David and Olivia. You are living proof that adopting an older rescue dog with health issues can bring you love, joy and happiness beyond all expectations. The rewards are immense, and a little faith is rewarded with a lifetime of love.

Thank you for giving Monkey the most wonderful home he could have wished for.

With love,
Monkey’s friends at Freshfields Xx

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