Harry the hedgehog is enjoying his new home after being rescued, confused and ill, by a power worker at a Suffolk electricity substation.
Graham Welham, who works on UK Power Networks sites for contractor Freedom, was checking a substation in Honington, near Bury St Edmunds, that was about to get new fencing. He said: “I spotted a poorly hedgehog out in bright sunshine. It was small, not moving and clearly in distress. As nocturnal animals you know there is a problem if they are out in the daytime”.
Graham called the charity Suffolk Prickles and took Harry to them in Stonham. Harry was left in their care for several weeks while they treated his lungworm, which can be fatal, and he recovered and put on weight.
Meanwhile, the new fencing at the substation had small holes dug under the fence to make it hedgehog friendly.
Graham and Heather Patrick, the power firm’s environment adviser, collected a fit and well Harry and took him in a box filled with straw back to his home habitat at the substation site. He was left in the box under a pile of scrub with food and water, and a camera was set up to check how he was doing. When Heather collected the video, everyone was delighted to see that Harry had adopted his new home and was happily using it.
Graham said: “I was really pleased he made a full recovery, I am a lover of wildlife and always keep a lookout at our substations, there’s always something. This is the third hedgehog I have rescued; I found one wandering in the road in broad daylight and took him to a rescue centre and released him and a female hedgehog into my garden and I found another poorly one when I had moved house.”
Paula Baker, chair of the trustees at Suffolk Prickles, said: “Well done UK Power Networks for recognising Harry was in trouble and bringing him to us. Releasing him back to the area where he was found is very important. We deal with 300 hedgehogs a year and the more awareness, the better for the hedgehog population. “
Heather Patrick said: “Hedgehogs are classified as ‘vulnerable to extinction’ so it was really exciting to find that hedgehogs were using our substation site and that Graham’s prompt action meant Harry could come back and continue to thrive. One ambition of our Green Action Plan is to enhance biodiversity and provide great habitat for wildlife at 100 sites which includes the Honington substation.”