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Big rise in Hedgehog rescues across the east

There's been a 22% rise in the number of hedgehogs taken in to the RSPCA's wildlife centres compared to last year.

Admissions for this September and October are the highest they have been for the last five years.

Big rise in Hedgehog rescues across the east Credit: RSPCA

Across the UK there have already been more than 200 admissions in November.

It’s going to be a difficult year for hedgehogs. As we head towards the hibernation period, we’re seeing a surge in hedgehogs being brought to our centres by concerned members of the public and the RSPCA’s own officers. We could be in for a record-breaking year. While it's impossible to know exactly why we are seeing so many more hedgehogs this year, some potential causes could be if they’re having trouble finding food this year, changes in weather that affected the timing of the breeding season, or even that people are more aware and concerned about hedgehogs so are reporting them to us more often.”

– Evie Button, RSPCA

The RSPCA says some hedgehogs which don't need help can sometimes be brought into their centres.

They've created a gauge to show if a hedgehog is underweight. If it's mango or apple size it will need specialist care.

If it's pineapple size it will be big enough to survive hibernation.

RSPCA size guide Credit: RSPCA

It’s important to ensure that our scarce resources are targeted at the animals most in need, but it can be quite tricky to tell whether a hedgehog really needs help or not. Using fruit sizes as a guide is a useful way of working out whether the animal’s healthy or in trouble."

– Evie Button, RSPCA

Hedgehogs need considerable fat reserves to get them through the winter.

The number of hedgehogs taken to East Winch so far this year has been 855

  • Bedfordshire - 4
  • Cambridgeshire - 84
  • Hertfordshire - 2
  • Lincolnshire - 25
  • Norfolk - 674
  • Northamptonshire - 1
  • Suffolk - 65

ICYMI: Here's our report from Ashna Hurynag on how climate change is causing a problem for Hedgehogs and the work of Suffolk Prickles Hedgehog Rescue