Animal rescue charity begins 'exciting' new expansion

PUBLISHED: 11:00 03 September 2017

Volunteers Elise Warner-Deards, Miranda Pearce, Tanya Takle with charity founder Jules Bishop.

Volunteers Elise Warner-Deards, Miranda Pearce, Tanya Takle with charity founder Jules Bishop.

Archant

The founder of a Somerset animal rescue charity is 'over the moon' after it moved into a new unit which will help to double its capacity.

A hedgehog.A hedgehog.

Prickles Hedgehog Rescue, in Cheddar, will soon be able to look after and care for more than 400 hedgehogs after it started its relocation into a neighbouring unit.

The charity, which is based in Wessex Business Centre off Wedmore Road, has endured three of its toughest months because of the mating season.

Founder Jules Bishop said the charity has taken on more than 180 hedgehogs since June, with many of them newborns.

She said: “We have been working day and night to look after the animals in our care.

Prickles Hedgehog Rescue founder Jules Bishop with a hedgehog.Prickles Hedgehog Rescue founder Jules Bishop with a hedgehog.

“We hand-reared 100 hoglets this year, which is a big jump from the 59 we cared for last year.”

The neighbouring unit will have one large room as well as six smaller rooms for hedgehogs which require intensive care.

Prickles needed to raise £15,000 to buy the equipment for the new unit.

Jules said: “Everything here apart from the office will need to be bought again; the shelves, crates, heat pads, fleeces and tables. We will need to double up on everything.”

A hedgehog.A hedgehog.

The charity, which launched in 2007, has helped thousands of hedgehogs from across Somerset, Bristol, Bath and parts of Devon and Cornwall.

The number of hedgehogs has drastically declined in the past few years, with only 1.4 million left in the UK at the end of 
2015.

Jules hopes the new unit will allow the charity to continue its positive work across the South West.

She added: “I am over the moon. This is a huge personal achievement for me to have built one of the largest rescue centres in the UK. It is amazing for Cheddar and for Prickles.

“We have become really successful and that is down to the volunteers who give up their time to help.”

But as the charity begins its expansion, Jules is calling on more people to offer their support and become a volunteer.

She said: “We desperately need more volunteers to help us, especially now our unit has doubled in size.”

Find out more about Prickles, or make a donation, at the charity’s website.

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