It’s a beautiful day at the sanctuary

Bank holiday Monday and it’s non stop action. Are we open? was the callers first question on the phone. Of course we never really stop apart from a few hours everyday to deal with admissions and maybe get a quick slurp of coffee. A juvenile buzzard on the way. A baby hedgehog found wandering in the road. Bank holidays, Christmas, Easter, it’s all just another day at Derbyshires’ busiest wildlife rescue center. We do our very best to provide assistance any day of the year.

We’ve had all sorts in lately. From domestic pets, a cormorant, hedgehogs, pigeons, baby rabbits, a lizard found in a suitcase. What a surprise!

This chap was feeling very under the weather. Upon closer inspection the diagnosis was ticks. Lots of ticks. They can make a hedgehog feel quite poorly and this chap had managed to collect a gazillion.

ticks on hedgehog


Tick removal is a time consuming process. You need a tick removal tool and a patient hand. Ticks can harbor Lymes disease (very harmful to humans) so it’s best to always use gloves when handling any animal with signs of tick infestation. It’ll take a few sessions to get all these removed safely and hopefully the hedgehog will feel much better and be able to go back into the wild. It’s not just ticks. Another hedgehog arrived with balloon syndrome. Quite a rare condition with gas being trapped under the skin which causes the hedgehog to inflate.
The gas has to be removed and antibiotics administered. It really is the most strange sight if you have never seen it before. Treatment is underway and he should soon be back to normal size.

hedgehog balloon syndrome
baby rabbit with poorly eye

Eye injuries are a common reason for admittance and this little rabbit came from Dinington with a sore eye.

baby hedgehogs

Alfie and george were found on a drive in Newbold. Only 124g and 125g. They’ll be with us for some time putting weight on. Hedgehog mums are easily disturbed and usually wander off leaving the young ones behind. These two were lucky a Wildlife Angel spotted them and brought them into the centre for care.

baby rabbit

This wee fella was found in a field next to big rabbit that had died. Probably its mum. It was very weak and in shock but has survived the night and is feeling a little better. An old cat basket with some hay in provides a great make shift shelter during recovery. We’ve had a lot of success with baby rabbits over the years releasing them back into the wild.


This handsome dude was a little bit more unusual for us. We see lots of seaguls and ducks. Even some geese but this might be the first cormorant through the doors at the sanctuary. Usually found along low cliffs around coasts, lakes and inland rivers, cormorants are excellent fishers and can be most easily spotted drying their wings out after a dive – their wings are not waterproof. Imperial cormorants have been recorded diving to depths of 80m. They can weight up to 2.5kg and live around 10 to 11 years on average. They eat all sorts of fish, mollasks, shellfish and occasionally octopus and squid. Can anyone recommend a good local fish and chip shop nearby for supplies? Only kidding!

pigeon with bandaged wing

We’ve become quite good at bandaging wings. So much so, that some people would rather come and see Jo for an injury rather than go to A and E. Seriously though, we only help animals and birds unless you want a lolipop stick and some vet wrap attached to that damaged appendage!


Whos a handsome boy. We could watch budgies for hours and still be amazed by their incredible plumage. Joey and woody, two boys that came in from different homes, have become great pals. Joey used to have a companion who sadly passed away and he became very stressed. Unfortunately the family were not in a position to be able to take on another friend but wanted Joey to be arounds others as he is very sociable. Woody came to us due to health of his owner who could no longer look after him. Life has a funny way of working out and it’s like these two where destined to be together. They are both looking for a new forever home, so if you think you could help please get in touch.

Donate to help animals at the sanctuary

And of course kittens. We’ve had quite a few come in this year in very poor condition. Abandoned and strays. They are still only a few weeks old but will be available for adoption soon if you are looking for a feline friend. Keep an eye on our instagram pages or give us a call for more details.


Thank you so much to everyone who’s been working hard on our wildlife pond project, especially the kind person who purchased some bamboo screening. It was a great surprise when it was delivered and a perfect fit. Volunteers have been hard at work over the last few weeks and it’s starting to look fantastic.

wildlife pond project
bamboo screening
pond wildlife
pond wildlife garden

Of course we have lots more news to share and if you would like to come down to the sanctuary and catch up in person, our Wildlife Open days are every Thursday and Saturday 10am to 12pm. Come meet the animals, have a chat with the team. You might get asked to help with a hedgehog, hold a wing while its being bandaged or feed the cats so come prepared.

On our doorstep this morning. A beautiful butterfly waiting to great us. A chance encounter or a spiritual message? Either way, it made our day.

We hope to see you soon.