A HEDGEHOG rescue centre has released four hogs so they can build a new life in the countryside.
Pig, Gnasher, Hazel and Dew were let go over the weekend at Rush Farm, near Redditch, which inspired BBC Radio 4’s The Archers. They are hoglets which are all ready to start their adult life in the wild.
Rush Farm covers 150 acres and includes 22 acres of woodland.
The project came about after Charlie Walker and Jayne Lawrence, who run Willows Hedgehog Rescue Centre in Bromsgrove, spoke to Sebastian Parsons and Adrian Parsons from the farm.
Charlie said: “We realised that the farm embodied the ethics we held dear.
“We took the decision to make a small personal investment allowing us to be a part of supporting the farm and to be involved with it’s future.”
Among the farm’s objectives, shared by Willows, are wildlife conservation, maintenance and enhancement of landscape quality and character, natural resource protection, protection of the historic environment, promotion of public access and understanding of the countryside.
“We wish to create environments that may help in reversing the decline of the hedgehog in the countryside.”
Willows takes in hedgehogs from both urban and countryside areas of Worcestershire and, where possible, Jayne and Charlie like to release the prickly creatures, after treatment and rehabilitation, back into the wild, close to the areas they came from.
“We will not release hedgehogs into areas where hedgehogs are not known,” added Charlie.
“This will give them the best possible chance of survival.”
He said anyone who finds a hedgehog should put them in a hedgehog home, provide them with water and supplementary food and speak to their neighbours about making their garden hedgehog-friendly.
Visit www.willowshedgehogrescue.co.uk for more on Willows.