It was 1993 when two prickly characters were given to a local animal loving "mad" couple and so began Frank and Veronica Tett's emotional and wonderfully caring journey to help save our British Hedgehogs.
For more than two decades , along with a dedicated group of volunteers they have rescued, rehabilitated and released thousands of Hedgehogs.
A few years after those first two visitors, a certain charismatic individual arrived at the rescue centre in need of help.He became known as Andrew.After some medical treatments and veterinary visits it became clear that Andrew was blind.If released back into the wild, his chances of survival would have been virtually zero so he became a permanent resident, founder of Andrew's Hedgehog Hospital and ambassador for Hedgehogs.
Andrew's is now a registered charity and having to help more Hogs than ever before(currently around 150 at the hospital with many more being over-Wintered by volunteers).
This has all been done from Frank and Ronnie's property, which brings us to this weeks Andrew's Hedgehog Hospital Ground Breaking Day.November 30th, chosen as it is St.Andrew's Day and coincidentally Ronnie's birthday.Their vision had always been to have an all purpose Hedgehog hospital built and thanks to Elsham Hall Country Park near Brigg that dream is a step closer to becoming a reality.The architectural plans of the new carbon-neutral hospital have been completed and an acre of land donated and so on Thursday with the help of Clare and Tiggy Elwes, Frank and Ronnie were able to watch proudly as the foundation stone was laid.
The new site of the carbon-neutral, all purpose Andrew's Hedgehog Hospital.
From left to right.
Frank Tett, Tiggy and Clare Elwes, Ronnie Tett and Andrew's Administrator Vee Harness
We were honoured to be part of such an important day and even the blizzards couldn't dampen the excitement.The view from the new hospital site.
VIP's and volunteers warmed up in the barn with mulled wine as Frank gave a short speech before once again being interviewed by the local TV news team.
Frank, Ronnie & Tiggy warming up while enjoying the snow scene.
Ronnie, with the aid of Clare and Tiggy then cut the cake.Very nice it was too :)
Hoggie items were available for purchase as well as the new "Buy A Brick" campaign to help fund the build(see end of blog for details).
Even during such a momentous and historic day, Hedgehog care was still at the forefront of everyone's thoughts and so when the awesome Jo got a call of a young Hog needing help immediate action was taken.A kind member of the public had rescued a juvenile from swerving traffic on the snow covered road in Scunthorpe.She had kept him warm in a blanket and box but was unable to drive in the snow to bring him to the rescue centre.Majella and myself then offered to go fetch the vulnerable Hedgehog and then was able to drop him off into the care of qualified volunteer Kath to assess.He weighed just under 300g so would've struggled to make it through the cold Winter months.He is now safe in the warmth and care of Kath and will be kept fed and monitored and released in the Spring.
The building of this eco-friendly hospital will have such a positive impact on how many more Hedgehogs can be saved and released back into the wild to help the dwindling population of the Nation's most loved mammal.
In the meantime help is always needed at the rescue centre.Ferplast Hamster cages, fleecy blankets, Spikes Hedgehog food, meaty Cat food, Burgess Kitten biscuits, newspapers are all constantly required, along with financial donations.
Please contact the hospital(on their website or Facebook page) if you are able to help. :)
Also check out the "Buy A Brick" campaign.
It's £5 a brick or for just £10 have your name immortalised on the brick and become part of the new Andrew's Hedgehog Hospital.
Thank you for reading and to everyone who works so hard to save and protect our British Wildlife.You are all #wildlifeheroes :)