At Home With Lorraine Kelly 2017 - 106
away if given the chance. They do tug
on the heartstrings, though.
'I started volunteering every other
unday at the hos ita
-hour shi s
he ing to ook a er
persuaded Kevin to convert our garden
shed into a mini rescue centre with
pens, and I became a home carer for
hedgehogs the hos ita cou dn t t in.
'I started to get up two hours early
to tend to the hogs before work. My
-hour hos ita shi s beca e too
much, so I gave them up. Instead, we
became fundraisers for the hospital,
writing letters to businesses and asking
for equipment. We're called Hettie's
'My workplace has been supportive,
I've been there for 12 years and they
know I've got a good pinch of crazy!
'HOGS NEED OUR HELP - IT'S
US HUMANS WHO HAVE MADE
THEIR LIVES DIFFICULT'
The Hettie phone rings at work and
o en have to rush out to ick u a
hedgehog in my lunch break.'
The wildlife rescuer
'I became known as "Hedgehog Lady" and
people began dropping hogs around to me
when they found them in distress'
NICOLA CROUCHER, 48, IS MARRIED TO KEVIN, 62, AND LIVES IN LETCHWORTH,
HERTFORDSHIRE. SHE WORKS AS A LOGISTICS AND PURCHASING MANAGER,
AND HAS SET UP A HEDGEHOG HOSPITAL IN HER BACK GARDEN
'I fell in love with hedgehogs when
Kevin found a small one struggling in
our garden, and I knew we had to
help it. We phoned a local hedgehog
hospital and they advised us to bring
the hog inside to keep it warm.
'As the hospital was full, they asked
to swap our hog, who needed extra
care, with one that just needed feeding
up before release. That was Sir Rattler,
named for his crackly chest.'
106 | AUGUST 2017
'From then on, there was no stopping
me. I came to realise these creatures
need our help. By simply leaving a
small corner of our gardens to overgrow,
they can hide from potential dangers.
Hogs need a walkway through gardens
because they walk up to 2K a night!
'All hedgehogs look and behave
different y so e are nosy others are
shy, but all remain wild and will scurry
Before pursuing a career in
helping animals, try volunteering
first to see if you like it.
alk to people doing something
similar and go on social media
feeds to find out more.
o research. isit vets and find
organisations that deal ith the
specific animal you ant to help.
ind out as much as you can
before you commit.
WORDS: GEORGINA MARIC, PHOTOGRAPHY: WILL IRELAND (NICOLA, LIZ), JACK ALEXANDER
(HEATHER), HAIR & MAKE-UP: FIONA NEAL, NICOLA WEARS: JACKET - DOROTHY PERKINS
'I became known as the "hedgehog
lady" and people began dropping hogs
around to me when they found them
in distress. To be able to treat them
medically, I did triage training.
er a ot o debate we decided to
open our own hedgehog hospital in
the garden. There's so much to learn,
including animal welfare rules and
regulations. We have to raise £5,000 a
year to keep it going and pay vet bills,
and we go to different su
fêtes a year to do this.
'But it's so satisfying to be able to
help a hedgehog who's unwell. With
some TLC, we can make it better again,
re ease it and watch it wander off.