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Woman to be honoured for rescuing thousands of hedgehogs

Joan Lockley has been rescuing hedgehogs for 15 years Credit: IFAW

A woman from Walsall is to be honoured with an award in the House of Lords for her work in rescuing thousands of hedgehogs.

Joan Lockley, who's 71, rescued her first hedgehog Spike 15 years ago and has been helping hedgehogs ever since.

Known locally as 'our village hero' for her tireless efforts to rehabilitate sick, injured or orphaned hedgehogs across the Midlands, she set up West Midlands Hedgehog Rescue and has gone on to rescue more than 5,000 hedgehogs to date.

I can't really say what it is about hedgehogs but I do seem to have an affinity with them.

Rolling into their defensive ball can make it hard for vets and others to treat them but with me they will usually just uncurl.

When I realised it wasn't a hoax that I'd won an International Fund for Animal Welfare award I just burst into tears, it's given me such a boost.

I'm in my own bubble here working 19-hour days with the hedgehogs or answering phone requests for help and never thought others would notice enough to think me worthy of an award.

It's lovely that they have and also a nice thank you for my volunteers who will also be thrilled.

– Joan Lockley

The majority of the hoglets are cared for in the purpose-built 'Hedgehog Hosprickal' in her back garden, but when this is full Joan will also nurse them in her house.

Joan said she burst into tears when she found out she would be recognised for her work Credit: IFAW

Philip Mansbridge, UK Director of IFAW, said:

Joan's dedication to hedgehog rescue is a great example of animal welfare in action.

Her efforts to save and protect one of our much loved but often threatened British mammals are an inspiration to others.

She is a very deserving winner of IFAW's Hedgehog Rescue Award.

– Philip Mansbridge, UK Director of IFAW

Joan will receive her award at IFAW's prestigious Animal Action Awards event, hosted by Baroness Gale and presented by TV wildlife presenter Bill Oddie, at the House of Lords tomorrow.