Charity reveals clever trick for spotting whether a hedgehog needs your help this winter

Lisa Walden
·1-min read
Photo credit: ANNEYP - Getty Images
Photo credit: ANNEYP - Getty Images

From Country Living

One Surrey-based charity is calling on the public to save underweight hedgehogs this winter, after fears a warm autumn has led to a longer breeding season.

The 'Saving Harry' campaign, which is run by the Wildlife Aid Foundation, has explained that if you spot a hedgehog the size of a grapefruit then they should survive hibernation. Any smaller, then you need to report them to your nearest wildlife centre who can look after them throughout the bitter winter months. It's a clever life-saving trick which could help many vulnerable hedgehogs to survive.

Sadly, over the years, hedgehog numbers have been in decline, with figures plummeting by 96% since the 1950s. "They need all the help they can get and every year thousands of the most vulnerable face an uncertain future as the weather turns," Simon Cowell, Wildlife Aid Foundation boss, says.

"Saving Harry the hedgehog should be a national effort with everyone in every town and county doing their bit. If we, and all the other wildlife rescue centres that run similar services in the UK did nothing, the nation would lose thousands of these wonderful creatures."

Photo credit: MikeLane45 - Getty Images
Photo credit: MikeLane45 - Getty Images

Some of the other simple ways you can help vulnerable hedgehogs in winter include making a hedgehog house so they have somewhere warm to hide, leaving out food (you can purchase special hedgehog food online), make your pond safe and put out fresh water each day (check it hasn't frozen overnight).

If you are worried about an underweight hedgehog, call the British hedgehog preservation society on 01584 890 801, or the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.

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