Oswestry family helping to save the humble hedgehog

They were once regular visitors to our gardens and our back doors, snuffling around for the food we would leave out for them.

Oswestry family helping to save the humble hedgehog

But the 'common' hedgehog is now anything but common and is on the list of Britain's 10 most endangered species.

Now a family from Pant, near Oswestry, has set up a hedgehog rescue centre at home and is asking people to donate food and newspaper for bedding.

Tim Robbins said he developed an interest in helping wildlife when he gave up his business a few years ago.

"I thought about opening a small zoo, but when I talked to the RSPCA the people there suggested I look at helping British wildlife."

  • Feed them cat food (not fish or with gravy) and give them water, not milk.

  • Put the hedgehog in a high-sided box filled with torn-up newspaper.

  • If the hedgehog feels cold to the touch, put in a plastic bottle filled with hot water and wrap it up in a towel.

  • If there is an obvious wound take it to a vet.[/breakout]

Tim has been on specialist training courses at centres in Wombome and Stapley to learn all about the hedgehog and recently welcomed his first two into the enclosure he has built in his garden.

"Hedgehogs can get into trouble if the British weather is playing up and they go into or come out of hibernation at the wrong time," he said.

"They can also be injured by dogs and other predators and on the roads. Recently there was one that became trapped between a greenhouse and a wall."

Much of the time Tim and his family, including his eight year old daughter, Maisie, will be feeding up the poorly hedgehogs until they are of a weight where they can survive in the wild.

They are also building up contacts with local vets. "We would be very grateful for donations of cat food, in jelly not in gravy, and of old newspapers, both of which can be dropped off at the Chalk shop in Leg Street," he said.

"We would also like to hear from anyone who can let us know where there are hedgehog populations, preferably in the Pant or Llanymynech area. We need somewhere to release our hedgehogs. If you see a hedgehog out in the daylight, or an injured or sick hedgehog at any time, it is in trouble.

"A hedgehog 'sun-bathing' or 'staggering' is probably very cold, and hypothermia is setting in. You need to act at once to help the animal. If you can see an open wound or a broken leg, take it to the vet immediately.

"If you can't really tell what is wrong with it, give us a call on (01691) 238522."

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