Welcome to Uist Hedgehog Rescue
Uist Hedgehog Rescue (UHR) is a coalition of animal protection, welfare and rescue organisations working together to translocate hedgehogs from the Scottish Outer Hebrides islands of North Uist, Benbecula and South Uist to the Scottish mainland.
The hedgehogs are caught on the islands by Scottish Natural Heritage and handed to UHR. UHR then cares for the hedgehogs on the islands before transporting them to Hessilhead Wildlife Rescue centre in Ayrshire where they are carefully monitored before being released into suitable sites to live out their lives. The translocation work undertaken by UHR is paid for by Scottish Natural Heritage.
Hedgehogs are not native to the islands - a few were introduced in 1974 to help control slugs and snails in an islanderís garden. Since then the hedgehogs spread across the islands and were thought to number around 5,000.
In 2002 the Uist Wader Project (consisting of Scottish Natural Heritage, the Scottish Government and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Scotland) decided to kill the hedgehogs in an effort to protect the eggs of the islandsí internationally important populations of wader birds. The killing resulted in the deaths of around 700 healthy animals.
UHR was formed to campaign against the killing of the hedgehogs and to rescue threatened hedgehogs. UHR accepted the need to protect the populations of wader birds, however UHR believed that the healthy wild animals should be moved to the mainland instead of being killed. In that way, both the waders and the hedgehogs can be saved.
After a successful high-profile campaign, the Uist Wader Project announced in February 2007 that it was to end the hedgehog cull in favour of a trial translocation of hedgehogs to the mainland. Since then UHR has been working closely with Scottish Natural Heritage to translocate the hedgehogs.
Since 2002 UHR has translocated a total of approximately 1600 hedgehogs.
Media enquiries: Please contact OneKind's Fin Robertson on +44 (0)131 225 6039 or by email.