Hedgehogs need more helpers

Hedgehog rescuers Carole Catchpole with Ed and Hilary Stokoe with Mousey.
Hedgehog rescuers Carole Catchpole with Ed and Hilary Stokoe with Mousey.

PEOPLE in north Northumberland are being urged to look after hedgehogs.

The Northumbrian Hedgehog Rescue Trust, based in Longframlington, is pleading for volunteers to help protect endangered hedgehogs this winter.

With 55 baby hedgehogs, aged between two weeks and four months, the trust are on the lookout for people who can help clean and feed them until they can be released into the wild next spring.

Set up in 1998, the rescue trust is the brainchild of Carole Catchpole who fell in love with hedgehogs after rescuing one 13 years ago.

The trust has since gone from strength to strength welcoming over 300 hedgehogs by 2010, arriving from as far as Berwick and Durham.

Their success has been recognised by not only the British Hedgehog Preservation Society but also the RSPCA.

With a number of volunteers already on board, the trust are keen to recruit as many helpers as possible.

Hilary Stokoe, volunteer at Northumbrian Hedgehog Rescue Trust said: “The hedgehogs which we have at the trust are gorgeous, they are just the sweetest things. We all love working here and looking at their antics.

“However, it can be hard work in the winter and that’s why we are desperate to keep the numbers up. The more hands we have the better”.

Due to intensive farming, the number of hedgehogs in Britain has declined dramatically.

Numbers have fallen from 30 million hedgehogs in the 1950’s to just half a million by 2010.

These alarming figures have compelled wildlife charities such as the Northumbrian Hedgehog Rescue Trust to offer the necessary protection to these much loved creatures.

To volunteer at the rescue centre contact Carole on 570650.