Charity's call to help the hedgehog as numbers drop

PUBLISHED: 12:00 27 November 2015

Young hedgehog Twitch is being cared for Secret World Wildlife Rescue.

Young hedgehog Twitch is being cared for Secret World Wildlife Rescue.

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THE number of hedgehogs across the country is falling - but one Somerset animal charity has taken in almost 200 of the tiny creatures in just two months.

Figures published last week showed that hedgehog numbers have more than halved in rural areas across the country since 2000, while numbers have also dropped by a third in urban areas.

However, Secret World Wildlife Rescue has welcomed 184 hedgehogs through its doors in the past two months, compared to 135 during the same period last year.

A 10-year conservation strategy has been launched by the People’s Trust for Endangered Species and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and one of its aims is to encourage people to join the Hedgehog Street movement. This encourages people to join up their gardens and other green spaces to improve a hedgehog’s access to food, shelter and mates.

A spokesman for Secret World said the East Huntspill charity supported the initiative and called for people to encourage the animals into their gardens.

The spokesman said: “Hedgehogs may be in decline, but we are seeing more of them here at Secret World. We fully support the advice from Hedgehog Street on making your garden more hedgehog-friendly.

“One thing you can do is to keep any garden netting well off the ground to avoid hedgehogs getting caught up. Last month a hedgehog was brought in from Burnham which had been found in tangled garden netting.

“Luckily we were able to cut away the netting and the hedgehog had no serious injuries, but it can be a real danger for them. Giving hedgehogs access to neighbouring gardens is also important.”

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