Headlines about the plight of hedgehogs last Autumn has brought an all-time record at Wiltshire Wildlife Hospital.
Hedgehogs have been in serious decline for many years and it’s thought the UK population may have dwindled to around one million, well below 10 per cent of where it used to be.
But headlines making people more aware of the creatures’ plight when they are underweight before winter hibernation saw a record 215 ’hogs brought to the sanctuary at Newton Tony, which serves an area from Winchester to Shaftesbury and the south coast to Marlborough and Newbury.
“We are now undertaking the huge task of releasing the hedgehogs, if possible close to where they were found,” says Marilyn Korkis, who runs the hospital with her husband Mike and a loyal band of volunteers.
“It’s a huge task but luckily many people who have brought us hedgehogs in the autumn or over the winter when the animals have woken up from hibernation will collect them and take them back where they belong. If that’s not possible we have a list of potential release sites.
“We are also looking for suitable gardens where hedgehogs can be rehomed and are always happy to hear from those who want a hedgehog to help them keep slugs and other pests off their plants, although not if they also use slug pellets as a control measure.
“It has been a great winter for the rescued animals and they will hopefully enjoy a healthy life now we have seen them through their hibernation crisis.”