Hazards To Wildlife

The vast majority of the casualties admitted to the centre are the victims of man's activities. It is likely that hundreds of millions of our native animals and birds are being affected each year. Here are some examples.


Small animals and birds often make their nests in bonfire piles. Move the pile to a fresh spot before lighting.

This poor female hedgehog was pulled from a burning fire. She was placed on pain relief, antibiotic cover and wound management.



Ponds, Swimming Pools

Many animals and birds drown in steep-sided ponds and swimming pools. Please ensure ponds have a sloping bank and pools an escape ramp. Check empty swimming pools regularly. Even pools with covers should be checked as small animals sometimes get caught in the pooling water gathered in the middle of a cover, which can lead to drowning.

Drains, Trenches and Holes

Ensure all drains have proper covers fitted. Provide escape ramps in trenches and cover unattended post holes. Hedgehogs and other mammals can fall in and drown or die of starvation.


Drains, Trenches and Holes

Chimneys, Flues

Ensure these are correctly covered. Many species of bird including the jackdaw find chimneys attractive nest sites. Owls and woodpigeons often fall down uncovered chimneys too. Starlings, robins and pied wagtails will build their nests in flues and vents, so ensure they are covered Additionally, nests can cause a dangerous build-up of fumes, threatening humans and birds alike.

Remember too that it is a criminal offence to damage or remove any bird’s nest that is in use or even under construction, so prevention is the best solution.


When taking down an old shed (or moving planks, boards or corrugated iron sheets that have lain on the ground for any length of time), proceed with care as many species of mammals build nest chambers and rear their young under them.

If you do disturb a nest chamber, cover it back up and retire from the scene for at least 2-3 hours; invariably, the mother will return and move her young to a safe location. If they’re still there after that, phone us for advice.



Hedges, Trees, General Gardening

Avoid heavy pruning of hedges and trees from March to July when many species of bird and small mammal (such as the protected dormice) are breeding. Squirrels often nest later in the year as well, so look out for their drays.

When raking up leaves or digging over boarders (especially near shrubberies), keep an eye open for hedgehog nests. A bit bigger than a football, they usually consist of a mass of combed grass, leaves and even plastic bags and lie just under the surface.

Compost Heaps

Check your heap before spearing it with a garden fork. Hedgehogs may be present! Grass Snakes often lay their eggs in compost heaps too, as the heat helps to incubate them.

Mowing, Strimming

Check the area to be cut first. You’d be surprised how many small animals may be present including hedgehogs, (which often sleep in the open on hot summer days) slow-worms, frogs and toads. We admit a lot of hedgehogs that have been strimmed and very few of them survive.


Garden and sports netting is extremely hazardous to many creatures that become entangled in it. Badgers, foxes, hedgehogs and even deer fall victim. Keep garden netting well clear of the ground and ensure sports netting in put away at night. Always discard old and torn netting carefully (by tying it up in a plastic bag and putting it in the dustbin or even burning it) and never leave it balled up in a corner of the garden, as it’s a real killer.

Even snakes such as the adder in the image get caught in garden netting.



Slug Pellets

These affect not only wildlife but are extremely dangerous to domestic pets; just a teaspoonful can kill a dog. Thrushes and blackbirds will eat them (and the slugs that have been poisoned) so just don't use them. Try organic/non-lethal methods such as soot and copper strips instead.


Slug Pellets


Millions of animals and birds are being killed annually on our roads. Keep your speed down on country roads (40mph is fast enough). If you see an animal in your headlights, slow right down or stop and dip your headlights. Ensure that other motorists are made aware there is a problem by using your hazard lights. Deer especially, need plenty of time to get off of the road and where you see one there are often many more just out of sight. Do not try and pass until they are completely off the road, as they may panic and jump onto your vehicle. Did you know that on average 15-20 people a year are killed in road traffic accidents involving deer? Give wildlife a chance. PLEASE SLOW DOWN!


Discarded line and hooks cause misery and death to untold thousands (and maybe hundreds of thousands?) of animals and birds every year. If you fish please recover all lost line and dispose of it safely. If you belong to an angling club, ask them to take preventative measures to clear up lost line and to introduce a strict code of practice for members.



Cats, Dogs

Domestic cats and dogs are killing and maiming vast numbers of wildlife. Keep your dog on a lead when walking in the country as pheasants, ducks, geese and even deer are often attacked. Check the garden before you let the dog out at night, as hedgehogs, foxes and badgers may be present.

If you have a cat, ensure it is wearing a safe collar and bell. Keep it in at night, as some cats catch rare bats at this time. During the Spring and Summer, keep your cat in when baby birds are fledging. Buy it a catnip mouse to keep it occupied while under house arrest!


Shooting animals and birds for ‘sport’ is still widely practiced in the UK and leads to incalculable suffering. Every year we admit pigeons, ducks, pheasants, partridges, rooks, crows, jackdaws and even birds such as cormorants and herons that have been peppered with shotgun pellets (often leading to a cruel and lingering death). We even see foxes and occasionally badgers that have been blasted with shotguns.

Airguns are a major problem. The law controlling their use has been tightened a little but irresponsible people still think it OK to take pot-shots at wild birds. In fact it is illegal and any persons doing so should be reported to the Police. Additionally, airguns are dangerous weapons and several people have been killed by them in recent years.




Tin cans, broken glass, discarded plastic bags, plastic can holders, balloons and other litter cause death and injury to wildlife. Recycle your tins and glass, use ‘Bags For Life’ instead of the lightweight plastic ones and boycott promotions involving balloons (they’re just another form of litter anyway).



Stock Fencing, Electric Fencing

If you’re having a stock fence put in, ask the contractors not to put the traditional two lines of wire along the top as it is a hazard to deer. Deer jumping this fencing sometimes slip, resulting in a rear leg becoming trapped between the two strands. The deer then falls and the strands twist and lock onto the hock, making escape impossible. In its struggle to free itself, a deer will completely destroy the tendons and blood vessels, resulting in the almost certain need for the animal to be put down. A single strand of wire along the fence is much safer.

Many deer, especially bucks in the rutting season, become entangled in electric rope and fencing that has been installed to keep horses and other stock contained. This can lead to a very dangerous situation, not only for the deer, but for the rescuers who have to free it.

If you have such fencing installed, please check it regularly.


Stock Fencing, Electric Fencing

Paints, Preservatives, Weed Killer, Engine Oil and Other Chemicals

Many potentially harmful chemicals are often stored in outbuildings and garden sheds, not always securely, so please check that yours are. If you service your own car, dispose of old engine oil responsibly (local councils recycling centres will take it). Birds and other animals can be seriously injured or even killed if exposed to it.

Previous Successful Rescues

Barn Owl
Fox Cubs

Online Donation

You can make a secure online donation via our Virgin Money Giving page.
Click on the button below and a new page will open with the form and a variety of options with which to pay.
Your kind and generous donation will directly help injured wildlife.

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Regular Donation

It is easy to set up a regular standing order by clicking the CAF image below. You will be taken to The Southern Wildlife Care and Advisory Trust's page on the CAF website where it will take just a few easy steps to set up a standing order by direct debit.

CAF Donate

Invicta Insurance Services

Invicta Insurance Services Ltd offer competitive insurance rates and if you take out an insurance policy with them quoting "Project Hedgehog" they will make a generous donation of £20 to Folly Wildlife Rescue.
In return, you will receive an Adoption Pack for ROSIE THE HEDGEHOG containing a colour certificate, hedgehog beanie, fact sheet and a Folly fridge magnet!

Invicta Insurance Ltd Supporting Folly Wildlife rescue

Easy Fund Raising

easyfundraising.org.uk is a great way to raise money for Folly Wildlife Rescue just by shopping online. You don’t pay anything extra.
All you need to do is use click on the banner below to use our easyfundraising portal. Every time make a purchase from your favourite online retailers using the link below Folly Wildlife Rescue will receive a small payment, with no extra cost to you.

Easy Fund Raising

Amazon Wish List

With the endless stream of wildlife casualties brought in to Folly Wildlife Rescue we are continually looking for stocks of essential items to aid recovery. With the introduction of our new nursery we will be able to cater for even more little babies, and with that comes more expense and that is where you, our supporters, may be able to help.
Our Amazon Wish List is updated frequently with all the essential items we needr. Your support is absolutely invaluable to us and every item purchased is a vital saving for our charity.

Amazon Wish List

Adopt A hedgehog

An adoption pack makes a great gift for a birthday or Christmas (or you can always treat yourself!) and is a very practical way to help hedgehogs in distress.
As well as illnesses and injuries the species is now seriously threatened by loss of habitat and housing developments, increased road traffic and unsympathetic farming practices

Adopt A Hedgehog

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