1. ITV Report

Hedgehogs under threat from gardeners

Hundreds of injured hedgehogs are being cared for. Photo: ITV News

A Gloucestershire animal sanctuary has taken in around 100 injured hedgehogs who have become unwitting victims of enthusiastic gardeners.

At this time of year many gardeners are beginning to tidy up their plots in time for the autumn, but strimmers and hoes can cause serious problems for hedgehogs sheltering under bushes.

Another injured hedgehog is cared for at Vale Wildlife Sanctuary. Credit: ITV News

They are an amazing species and what they really like are hedgerows with some grass like this alongside.

Strimmers are quite a hazardous thing if you are a hedgehog, or a frog, or a toad.

So what you don't want to be doing is going in willy-nilly raking away or strimming away at this time of year.

You ought to be making sure that anything which is under your hedge using it as a shelter isn't going to be there before you go in with the strimmer.

So, we need to check that there are no big piles of leaves which could be where the hedgehog is resting.

– Caroline Gould, Vale Wildlife Sanctuary
Beware of hedgehogs when using a strimmer. Credit: ITV News

So the message to gardeners is simple: If you are using a mower, or cutting a hedge down or taking down a garden shed, there could be a hedgehog nesting underneath. Your local wildlife trust can offer advice on creating a hedgehog friendly garden.

The problem is particularly acute at this time of year because the animals often have a second litter about now, so the advice is, don't use the strimmer or rake out the bottoms of hedgerows just yet.

Some hedgehogs being brought into the sanctuary are so young their eyes haven't even opened. Credit: ITV News

Watch Ken Goodwin's full report from the Vale Wildlife Sanctuary here:

British Hedgehog Preservation Society: http://www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk/