Our founder Carole Catchpole has had a love of animals all her life.
When she & her husband moved to Longframlington in 1980, they soon realised they had hedgehogs visiting their garden nightly and encouraged them by setting up a feeding station and one evening counted 13 enjoying the feast.
In 1998 Carole was widowed and that autumn a very young hedgehog presented itself in need of help. It had obviously knocked on the right door as Carole decided to care for her until she could be released in the spring.
Carole did a great deal of research, and that little hedgehog was just the beginning.
Soon the word spread locally, and Carole found herself taking in an increasing number of hedgehogs. During this time, she was not only caring for the hedgehogs but was also funding it herself.
Several wooden hutches were donated or purchased second hand and so her double garage was now becoming a rescue centre, called the Northumbrian Hedgehog Rescue.
As patient numbers increased it proved difficult coping single handed and Carole persuaded friends to help. By 2012 the wooden rabbit hutches had reached a point where they need replacing and Carole decided to invest in bespoke veterinary quality cages which would not only be easier to clean but would prevent any cross contamination.
She received a grant of £2,500 from Pets at Home but was unsuccessful elsewhere and funded the remaining £9,000 herself, which was finally repaid two years later following a series of fund-raising events.
The Rescue Centre has continued to grow so that now as well as the indoor accommodation, we also have three specialist gardens including an outside area specifically designed to enable amputees or disabled hedgehogs that cannot be safely released back to the wild, to live in natural conditions but be cared for 365 days a year.
From these small beginnings the rescue became a Trust in 2011 and finally a registered charity (No.1152034) in 2013. We now care for approximately 600 hedgehogs annually and frequently overwinter 150 plus. Our policy has been and will remain to always help a hedgehog in need and never refuse sanctuary.
In 2016 Carole was awarded the British Empire Medal for her work with hedgehogs.