Wortwell hedgehog rescue appeals for cat food donations
- Credit: Nick Butcher
A south Norfolk woman caring for injured and rescued hedgehogs is appealing for donations to help her look after the animals until they are ready to be released.
Jayne Moore is tending to a dozen hedgehogs at her Wortwell home, with another 30 at foster homes around the area, until they can go back into the wild later on in the year.
But trying to help 12 hedgehogs put on weight while also treating any diseases and making sure they are kept warm is an expensive business.
And Mrs Moore, who runs Greensted Hedgehog Rescue, is appealing for donations of cat food - tinned or dry - to help in her work.
“Most of the hedgehogs have been with me since October,” she said. “But in the summer, as soon as they’re well we let them go and try to put them back where they came from.
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“Left out over the winter, they all would have died. They were too small, some we’ve had in were the size of a hamster.”
Mrs Moore said that hedgehogs can traditionally have two litters a year, but the unseasonably dry weather in September meant some were having three.
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The youngest litter born late in the season then do not have time to put on enough weight to survive hibernation.
But once they have been looked after by Mrs Moore and other Greenstead Hedgehog Rescue volunteers they can safely go back to the countryside.
“We really need meat-based cat food, either wet or dry, but nothing with fish,” said Mrs Moore. “They eat as much as a big cat.
“We’re always looking for heat mats and we really do want some outdoor rabbit runs.”
She believes her work is important not only for the local hedgehogs, but for the population as a whole, which is in rapid decline.
She said: “They are so in trouble. In the last 30 years hedgehog numbers have fallen off a cliff, fences, roads, pesticides and lack of habitat are really hurting their numbers.
“But it won’t take much to save them. All you’ve got to do is make a hole in your fence and put some water out.
“It would be such a pity to lose them.”
Mrs Moore estimates it costs between £70 and £90 to rehabilitate a hedgehog, and can cost as much as £120 if they have to be looked after all winter.
And donations she receives equate to £5 or £6 per animal.
“There aren’t any grants for this sort of thing,” she said. “There’s just no funding.”
To donate cat food or other items, call Greensted Hedgehog Rescue on 01986 788952, email email@example.com, or search for hedgehogrescue Greensted Wortwell on Facebook. The rescue would also be keen to hear from any local businesses who may be able to help with sponsorship.