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Thursday, 26 September 2019

Caring for hedgehogs

We have had a lot of people contacting us to ask how best to look after hedgehogs in the wild so I thought I would do a post all about it. First of all, in you have hedgehogs in your garden, you are incredibly lucky! The number of hedgehogs in the wild is decreasing drastically. 

Below are some key ways in which you can help out our hedgehogs. 

  • Leave a shallow dish of water for the wildlife in your garden and some food. For hedgehogs specifically, you can get specialist hedgehog food, wet cat and dog food and cat biscuits.
  • Don't use slug pellets and other pesticide in your garden as they can directly harm the hedgehogs as well as their food source. There are plenty of organic methods you can use instead. 
  • Keep a part of your garden 'wild' for the use of wild animals. This means that hedgehogs can stay in your garden without being disturbed. To help with this, you can also get a hedgehog house so they have somewhere warm and safe that they can get into. Having a wild patch in your garden helps all wild animals and bugs so is defiantly worth it.
  • Check your garden for wildlife before you mow the lawn or use a strimmer. We have seen many hedgehogs that have been caught by the strimmer as they are hiding in a hedge, please try to stop this from happening.
  • Please check bonfires before lighting them as hedgehogs love to hide in them.
  • Dispose of litter responsibility as hedgehogs and other types of wildlife can be seriously harmed or die due to getting caught up in rubbish.
  • Make sure that there are sloping edges in ponds in your garden so all wildlife, especially hedgehogs, can get out easily to avoid drowning.
  • Be careful when driving. So many wildlife die on our roads. The animals were there before the roads. We have made roads through THEIR home, so we need to make sure animals are respected and taken care of, not killed.
If you would like anymore information or find a hedgehog in need, please contact us. You can find our contact details here.

Thursday, 5 September 2019

Feed our wild birds!

Most of you would know about the warnings going around about not feeding ducks bread but this means that they aren’t getting the food at all and are starving to death. It isn’t only the ducks that get the bread but also swans, geese and pigeons. This little guy came into us yesterday. That is his breast bone sticking out, he is literally skin and bone. We have had so many birds brought in who are starving to death recently. The problem isn’t feeding birds bread, it is over feeding them as when it sinks to the bottom of the river bacteria which causes botulism is made. In the long run this can cause birds to die. Please feed our wild birds. If you have nothing else but bread, that is fine. The problem is overfeeding it to them.

However, bread is the equiverrliant to bird junk food. There are other things that you can easily buy to feed birds. The list below is only some of the food that you can feed birds such as ducks, swans and pigeons which are much better for them than bread.
  • Corn
  • Seeds
  • Peas
  • Sweatcorn
  • Oats 
  • Kale 
  • Broccoli
  • Rice
  • Grapes that have been cut up
  • lettuce 
  • vegetable scraps
There are many more food types which you can feed birds if you have a quick look on google. You can also get specific food for ducks and swans. 

Please remember that bread should only be used as a last resort.

Different birds have different dietary requirements, if you have a specific type of bird you are feeding and want to find out what you can feed them then feel free to contact us. Google has some great advice too so always use different pages as research as many will have different opinions on the best food. By looking at more than one page it means that you are able to make an informed decision yourself on what to feed them.

If you would like any more information on anything please contact us. 

Jenny Wackett- 07956 300 290
Emma Wackett- 07854 833 706
Email- walthamabbeywildliferescue@gmail.com

Reduce plastic use!

This is an ongoing blog post and will be updated 

Recently I have shared the story of the starling that got caught up in plastic netting, if you missed it here is the link: Plastic Netting Warning

Unfortunately, this is not a one off case and so many animals around the world are not as luck as this starling was.

Whilst plastic netting causes the most trouble for the animals that get brought to us, plastic is harming animals all over the world. It has become so much easier to find alternative to plastic so I thought it would be a good idea to share some links for some inspiration. We know how hard it is to give up all plastic so start off by taking small steps and just be mindful of what you are going to do with any plastic items once you have finished with them. Reuse and Recycle where ever possible. 

Information and News Stories

LUSH UK- https://uk.lush.com/ 
Earth Conscious- https://www.earthconscious.co.uk/
The Plastic Free Shop- https://www.theplasticfreeshop.co.uk/
Zero Waste Club- https://www.zero-waste-club.com/

Social Media Pages
Me living Plastic Free- https://www.instagram.com/me_living_plastic_free/?hl=en
Love Eco- https://www.instagram.com/_love_eco_/?hl=en

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

School Deer Rescue

Last year we got a callout from a local school asking us for some help with a young deer who had got stuck in between some old iron railings. It was a Monday so as far as they were aware, the deer could have been there all weekend. They had called the fire brigade as well to help cut her out. By the time we got there, the railings had been cut and she was just sitting there with the top of her back legs still tucked under the metal. It was clear she had been there for a very long time, she had actually managed to drag herself and the railings across the floor in a bid to escape. From looking at her and the surrounding landscape we guessed that her mother had run past the railings and instead of running around them the young deer thought she could fit through the gap and got caught halfway through.

With help from the fire crew we managed to get her back legs from under the metal and then we were able to then look at her injuries. With the position she had managed to get herself in, she had come out of it fairly well. She had friction burns and bruising to her side and back legs where she had struggled and the odd scratch here and there but it could have been much worse. The school had given us some water for her because she was clearly very dehydrated as she had been there for a long time whilst the fire crew called around for a vet, few minutes later she got up and ran but in the wrong direction. She was still to weak to look after herself and there was a high chance of her running back through the railings again to try and reach her mother and getting stuck again. Again, with help from the fire crew we managed to carry her back through the undergrowth and to the correct side of the railings again. They then used the thermo imaging camera to see if the mother was in the surrounding area still but there was no luck. When the vet turned up they decided to take her in to be put on a drip to help her overcome the dehydration and to give her painkillers for the bruising, and then see how she is in the morning. 

Unfortunately, she didn't make it. Whilst her injuries were not life threating, the shock was. It is one of the biggest killers of wildlife and its something that cant be treated. Although the outcome was not as we would have liked, we were happy that we had managed to help her otherwise she would have suffered a great deal more. We have to say a huge thank you to the school for helping us and of course the fire crew who attended for going above and beyond to try and help the deer, we defiantly wouldn't have been able to do it without you!

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Playtime went too far!

Leo was one of the foxes that we had as cubs and was best friends with one of our rescue cats, Dusty. They went crazy running up and down the stairs, jumping on our beds and working together to steal our food on a daily basis but I will never forget the day that cocktail sausages came to the rescue... and neither will the chickens! Like normal they were jumping on the bed and running everywhere when Dusty decided it was a good idea to jump out the upstairs window onto the roof below and Leo followed. This in itself wasn’t the problem, however, the chickens were out! No matter what we done, we couldn’t get Leo to come back in. Instead, he sat on the roof watching intently as the chickens pecked away at the grass. Then we came up with the best idea… sausages! He absolutely loved cocktail sausages so we started throwing them out the window. Eventually he jumped inside and stole the entire container. It took us a while to get our heart rate back to normal as Leo tucked into his midday snack. The window was kept shut from then on in. We always had them the fridge in case of other emergencies after that day. We have found that foxes prefer processed meat to fresh, just like us with fast food really I suppose. 

Wednesday, 20 February 2019


Esther was one of the kindest foxes you could ever meet. She came to us in August 2018 and, from the information that the lady who's garden she was in gave us, we think she was either 9 or 10 years old and had 8 or 9 lots of cubs which is an incredible amount. However, the last litter very nearly killed her because of her age. When we got her she went straight to the vets because she was very weak. The vet told us that she had enlarged Kidneys but for now she was okay to live with us as she was not in pain and was still relatively healthy for a fox of her age. We didn’t know how long we were going to have her, it could have been weeks or months so we made the decision to give her whatever food she wanted, her favourite was Deli cooked chicken (excluding cooked bones of course). We are so glad we had her for the 3 months but wish enormously that it could have been longer as on 7th November 2018 she had to be put to sleep due to her Kidneys getting worse. She was such a sweet fox who got on with everyone. She was incredibly friendly for an adult fox and got on well with Amber, another fox that we have at the moment, and even our deer, Willow. She stole our heart and we will miss her greatly. Whilst it is very sad, this is part of what we do. Sometimes there is nothing else to do other than wait but in the meantime we always aim to make the remaining part of an animal’s life, however long or short that made be, the best time possible and when the time comes for them, we are always there until the end.

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Care Home Polly

During the summer holidays around 8 years ago we were told about a Peahen lose within a housing estate for the elderly. Whist most of the residents loved her, one person had complained to the council and they said they were going to put her to sleep. It was a race against time to catch her. We went there day after day, week after week to try and get her but at the time we didn't have much equipment that was suitable so we had to improvise. We got a bed sheet and sown a rock into each corner. The idea was that we would throw it over her and the rocks would weigh it down long enough to grab hold, one thing we learned… Peahens are heavy (heaver than four rocks anyway). We managed to borrow a very large net form another animal rescue eventually, I have no idea what people walking past us must have thought when they saw a lady with two children walk past with a bed sheet with rocks in it and a huge net! This was a full time project for us and we were determined to save her. So much so that any friends that were around also got the treat of helping us. They were use to it, they have all told me that they have lost count of the amount of injured animals that we have picked up on what was a seemly ‘normal’ day out. Trying to get her became a daily routine, get up and dressed, feed and clean out the animals and then walk up. The residents were so kind to us and helped any way they could. On the very last day of the summer holidays, we managed it! The most unbelievable part being we got her with the bed sheet! At the time we didn't have the car and Jack was still in the pram so if you were thinking it must have been weird seeing a lady carrying a net and bed sheet walking down the road, imagine seeing a lady walk through the town with a Peahen in a pram wrapped up in a bed sheet and carrying a large net with her two children hand in hand following her asking to go in the shop to buy sweets. Because we were so young, me and Jack wasn't very imaginative at coming up with names, nor was it likely that we would ever agree on what to call an animal but in the end we came up with the most predictable name possible, Polly. We were so proud! She stayed with us for years and became part of the family. The residents asked for updates and they said life was never the same again but everyone was happy that she had survived the council. I have to say that the ‘what you did in your holidays’ homework that year was one that the teacher will never forget!

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Our House Chicken

Whilst Abigail may not be wildlife we thought we should introduce her as she comes to events with us. She is around 7 months old at the moment and is a Lavender Pekin Bantam Chicken, shes our ‘house chicken’. When I was at school I used to have another ‘house chicken’ of the same breed called Annabelle. Mum brought her into the school so children could draw her. We found that a lot of children thought chickens looked totally different to what they do and some didn’t know that chickens lay eggs. We still find this is the case sometimes. When we take animals into schools, clubs or events Abigail now joins us as we feel that learning about animals like chickens is just as important as learning about wildlife. She loves being with people and our animals. She spends so much time with the dogs that she sometimes thinks she is one! She loves to go down the garden and snuggling up with them on the sofa. We cant sit down without her jumping on our lap and she is defiantly the boss over the cats and dogs in our house! If she walks towards them, they know they its them that needs to walk around her and not the other way around. Here she is snuggled into her favorite rug... we have to be VERY careful not to step on her.

She loves to be on the sofa with us and the animals. Here she is with Willow and Archie.

There are always so many chickens that are in need of new homes. Many chickens have their life taken away from them just because places cant find enough people to take them on as pets. If you are looking at getting some, please look around for rescues. They make fantastic pets and even though they are rescues and many need a little TLC, many are still good layers and will be a great addition to the family. If you would like any advice on keeping chickens or want help finding rescue chickens in need of new homes, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Molly vs. Yr 6 Maths homework

Year 6, like every child, was a very stressful time for me. SATs were just around the corner so the teachers were more strict about handing in your homework on time than ever before. I was always someone that struggled with maths and I would spend hours every week trying to work out the answers to one page in a pre-printed maths workbook (which I'm almost 100% sure the teachers didn't even understand), not to mention the amount of time I spent on the numerous other pages I also had to do within a single homework task. One week I had managed to finish the questions just before a family friend came around. To stop the maths book getting messed up Mum put it up high on top of our Crow, Molly’s, cage. Surrounding her cage was a sheet so at night we could pull it down to cover her over so she slept better. That night, however, the sheet didn't cover the top of the cage. 5 points for who can guess what happens next! 

She must have hated maths as much as me so thought she might do me a favour. If I didn't have a maths book then I couldn't do anymore maths homework and I could spend the hours of spear time I would then have on giving her cuddles and talking to her, right? WRONG! We all know teachers wouldn't have accepted that not having a workbook isn't an excuse to do work, they would just give me a new ones (which I would have to re-start from the beginning) but even though crows are super smart, they haven't learnt teachers behaviors yet (I'm sure that’s next on the list though). Anyway, because she didn't know this she thought she would be helpful and drag the book into her cage and tear every single page into tiny shreds of paper and then poo on it. The next day I took all the pieces into school in a bag and gave it to my teacher who clearly looked as though she was feeling a mix of anger and confusion… until I told her what had happened. I explained that I had done my homework and said the most memorable line ever, ‘the crow ate my homework’… lets just say the teacher wont forget that one in a hurry!

Monday, 28 January 2019


A while ago a Starling got brought into us. As you can see, he is completely covered in plastic netting. If nobody had found him he would have died. He couldn’t even walk so there was no way he would have been able to get away from predators. The chances of him being able to get food and water would have been incredibly slim too.
When he came in we removed the netting straight away which took ages! Thankfully the netting hadn't cut into his body so removing it was painless but throughout the entire thing the Starling was making such a loud screaming noise. This little one was very lucky as he didn’t have any injuries so after a couple of days of rest to get over the shock, he was released again.
There are so many projects going on to reduce the amount of single use plastic being used, which is great as we have had so many animals come in that have been injured due to it, but please be mindful of how you use ANY form of plastic. Throughout our time rescuing and taking in wildlife, we have had more animals come to us injured by plastic netting from peoples gardens than any other plastic item. Please be aware of anything that you put in your gardens so you can try to reduce the risk of wildlife being harmed. 

I am going to write a post with ideas on how you can reduce your plastic usage at some point but in the mean time, please feel free to contact us for more information. 


Wednesday, 23 January 2019

How can you help wildlife in the Winter?

Due to the cold weather food is very scarce for wildlife. Below are ways in which you can help-
- Bird food: please make sure that you don't use fat balls in netting or spring like feeders as birds can get caught in them. 
- Fresh water: As water freezes so much in winter, it would be really helpful if you put some water out for them. It is a good idea to have water available in different size dishes and at different heights so it will help both birds and foxes along with a lot of other animals.
- Bird boxes: There are so many different types around. Having a range of sizes would be really helpful! 
- Shelters: To save money there are some great tutorials to help you make them with things that you can find around you house and are really effective.
- Bug hotels: Allows them borrow and is a food source for birds and other animals. Again, if you don't want to buy one, there are lots of ways in which you can make your own. 
- Cat/Dog food, left over food: Around this time fox cubs are born. By leaving food out you are helping the parents find food to keep strong and healthy so they can care for the cubs. 
They can splinter once eaten and can cause a huge amount of internal damage. However, raw bones are fine.
- Keep and eye out: If you even suspect that an animal might need help, please contact us, your local vet or local rescue for advice. 

If you would like any further information please feel free to contact us. We would be happy to help!
Jenny Wackett- 07956 300 290
Emma Wackett- 07854 833 706

Monday, 21 January 2019


If anyone sees a hedgehog out in the day, doesn't matter what size, they need help. Please don't leave them and think they will be okay, they won't be. The most important thing they need is heat, a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel would be ideal, secondly they need food, wet cat/dog food will be fine also water to drink, NOT milk. The little hedgehogs that are wandering around on their own now have been abandoned by their mum as she knows they won't make it through winter. Its too cold for hedgehogs now. If you do find a hedgehog in need please contact us, your local vets or your local wildlife rescue. The cold weather is here, they WILL NOT SURVIVE!
Please share to spread the word!

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Why this blog exists

Hi, its Emma Wackett here. I help run the rescue with my Mum, Jenny Wackett. I absolutely love what we do so since moving to Sheffield for university I have felt like something is missing. I'm not allowed to have any animals at uni and that, for someone that has never had a day without animals, is really difficult. They help me as much as I hep them. They are my coping method when dealing with personal problems so not to have them is a nightmare. I decided I needed to do something that made me feel close to them again. 

Lots of people have told me that I should write a book about the experiences that we have had when running the rescue. I am currently trying to write some stories up so I thought that I would share the basis of some of them to you through this blog. If you like these, the I will go on to write the book. It might take a while though seeing as I'm a full time student. I am also in charge of the Facebook page which I am utterly rubbish at doing at the moment so these posts will also be shared on there too so there will be more posts. I'm not necessarily going to make the stories super funny and cheerful, I am going to say it as it is. There might be some 'you had to be there' stories but I will still write them up. Hope you enjoy it and any feedback will be warmly welcomed. 

I am also going to post some information about different animals and how best to look after them in the wild. I'm hoping that this will be a good place to share any education material that we make so we can get feedback on it but if you would like to use any of it to share yourselves, please ask us first. It's mainly for me to see how helpful they are and knowing who uses them will help me in my future career aspirations (I'll post about that too sometime).

Thanks for reading!
Emma x

Contact Details and Links

Jenny Wackett- 07956 300 290
Emma Wackett- 07854 833 706
Email- walthamabbeywildliferescue@gmail.com
Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/wawildliferescueandrehabilitation/
Amazon Wish list- https://www.amazon.co.uk/wishlist
Monty's Instagram- @monty_foxandfriends

About Us

We take in injured or orphaned/abandoned wildlife with the aim of releasing them back into the wild. Sometimes animals are so badly injured that they will ever be able to go back to the wild or have a life long conditions which would limit their life in the wild considerably. In these cases, we either keep them if it is fair and safe to do so or they get taken to a sanctuary. We also aim to teach people about the animals and how they can help them in the wild. In order to do this, we take animals to events, schools, community projects and groups. We are not a registered charity and run the rescue from home as a family.

If you find any injured or orphaned wildlife please feel free to ring Jenny Wackett on 07956300290 or Emma Wackett on 07854833706. Please try and ring Jenny first as Emma wont be around during term times due to university.  We also have a Facebook page (find link below) which you can use to contact us but please don't message on there if it an emergency because we don't always get the notifications. If you would like us to come to your event please use one of the contact details below.

Jenny Wackett- 07956 300 290
Emma Wackett- 07854 833 706
People have been suggesting that we create a wish list on amazon so people can donate items to us to help look after the wildlife that we take in on a voluntary basis. This will then mean that we will be able to save more money to eventually create purpose built housing and in turn allow us to help more animals due to more space. Any donations would be gratefully received and would be a huge help to us. The Wishlist will be updated as time goes on. Some of the items that have been included might seem a bit odd to have for animals but each item does directly go towards the animals. If you have any questions about what specifically the items will be used for, please feel to contact us. Thank you for all the donations that we have had so far, we cannot tell you how much it helps.

Emma is trying to raise money so we can build an outhouse for the wildlife that we get in. It will allow us to help a lot more animals as we are quickly running out of space. Thank you to all those that have donated!