Prickly Skills on Offer at Derby College

The Animal Care team at Derby College’s Broomfield Hall are holding one-day workshops to help local people learn more about caring for ‘prickly’ pets and visitors to their gardens.

A Hedgehog Ecology and Conservation workshop will be held at Broomfield Hall on Saturday October 17 between 10am and 3pm.

The hands-on workshop is for anyone aged 16 years and above with a general interest in hedgehogs.  There will be the chance to work with the College’s three resident hedgehogs and learn how to health check and encourage these endangered critters into the garden before they go into hibernation and the care they need next Spring.

Then, on Saturday October 31, a Porcupine Husbandry workshop will be held between 10am and 3pm with the College’s resident African Crested porcupine Noko taking a starring role.

The workshop is open to everyone aged eight years and above and provides a basic understanding of porcupine and exotic rodent husbandry, care and welfare. 

The Hedgehog course is being run by zoologist Abby Bruce who was a veterinary nurse specialising in hedgehog conservation before joining Derby College as an Animal Care lecturer.

She said: “Nationally, the hedgehog population is in decline so it is important that people have awareness of how to look after these animals if they come into the garden, what to feed them on, signs of ill-health and what they should do if there is a problem.

“People on the course are also able to practice handling the hedgehogs that we have here in the Broomfield Hall animal care centre.”

Fellow lecturer Stacey Higgs is in charge of the Porcupine Husbandry course.  She said: “We are one of only a handful colleges in the UK to have a porcupine so the workshop is a rare opportunity to learn how to handle these animals.

“The skills that people learn on the workshop also relate to a wide range of exotic rodents so will be useful for anyone who has or is thinking of having one of these animals as pets.”

Derby College Team Manager Jon Collins concluded: “We have a wide range of animals, birds and reptiles at Broomfield Hall and the workshops and short courses are the ideal opportunity for people to learn how to care for some more unusual species.”

Both workshops cost £40 per person.  For more information and to book, please visit or telephone 0800 028 0289.

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