A LOCAL charity specialising in saving and rehabilitating hedgehogs is having to close its doors after a long battle trying to find a place to relocate.
ELM, or Every Life Matters is Devon’s largest hedgehog charity. It The charity has been in crisis since the organisation was notified that its rent would more than double within the next six months.
The charity, based in Seale Hayne, has 130 volunteers and rescues over 1,000 animals every year, the majority being hedgehogs.
ELM began in 2018, moving into their current residence three years ago.
‘If you’ve ever called the RSPCA, RSPB, Devon Wildlife Trust or your local vet, there is a good chance you’ve been given our number,’ charity CEO Rick Parker explained.
‘ELM accepts around 1,200 wildlife casualties a year, with the majority of these being hedgehogs.’
But after ELM’s current landlord increased the charity’s rent by over double, a new site was desperately needed to keep alive. But with no suitable properties on the horizon, the charity is at an impasse.
Rick said: ‘It is with heartbreak that we announce that we have less than 2 months to save ELM.
‘We have been let down so many times by people offering to sell us some land. If we don’t find somewhere to go very quickly we will be forced to close ELM indefinitely!
There is a reason we are the largest rescue in Devon and when we are not here, it will leave a huge hole and impact for our already struggling wildlife.
‘What we need is 7+ acres somewhere along the A38 corridor from Chudleigh to Ivybridge …. Simple as that! Please donate if you can help, maybe if we had some more money we could pay more for land. This is it, we remain open for now, please continue to support us until we let you know otherwise.’
At the same time, ELM is also searching for suitable places to rehome many of its existing residents.
The charity is appealing to anyone in the area with a hedgehog house, a hedgehog-friendly garden away from main roads to get in touch.
ELM added: ‘We are looking for very special homes for some hand-reared hoglets. They need more time to learn how to be wild again, including getting their body clocks adjusted.
‘We will then have a look and see if your garden is suitable.’
To find out more about either adopting a hog or securing the charity’s future, visit ELM’s Facebook page.