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Hedgehogs Hope To Hog The Limelight in York

Noah the hedgehog

6:01am 5th May 2013

One of York’s newest hedgehog rehabilitators, Emma Farley, is asking the people of York to help their spiky residents hog the limelight during Hedgehog Awareness Week, from 5 to 11 May 2013.

The annual event is organised by the Hedgehog Preservation Society and aims to raise awareness of the problems faced by hedgehogs, whose numbers are in severe decline.

Emma, a York resident who works at the National Railway Museum, has been helping to care for poorly hedgehogs since last Autumn in special homes in her garage. The latest guests, Starsky, Benson and Haggis, have just been re-released to the wild, having been found severely underweight last November with the cold winter weather looming.

Emma says:  “Hedgehogs are one of our most loved animals but they are now in the top 10 most endangered species in Britain. The prolonged winter weather this year means that many won’t have survived hibernation and others will be waking up hungry and thirsty. York gardens are a vital refuge for hedgehogs and a few simple actions can help to ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy these delightful snuffly visitors.”

York residents can help by:

  • Putting out a shallow dish of water and meat-based cat food, cat biscuits or mealworms
  • Ensuring there is access into the garden (all that is needed is 5” square gap) and encouraging your neighbours to do the same
  • Checking areas before strimming or mowing
  • Moving piles of rubbish to a new site before burning it
  • Ensuring netting is kept at a safe height
  • Checking compost heaps before digging the fork in
  • Stopping or reducing the amount of pesticides and poisons used
  • Covering drains or deep holes
  • Ensuring there is an easy route out of ponds and pools
  • Providing wild garden areas where hedgehogs can forage

Anyone finding a sick or injured hedgehog should call their local RSPCA immediately, says Emma, adding that any hedgehog seen out in daylight is unwell.

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