A Hellesdon-based campaign to raise money to build a hospital for poorly hedgehogs has been given a final boost by children from West Sussex, meaning work can get started sooner than expected.
Paula Pithers runs Hellesdon Hedgehog rehab, Hellesdon Hogwatch and Hodmedods Hedgehog Support and was heavily involved in the campaign to raise £5,000 for a purpose-built hospital for sick hogs at the Hallswood animal sanctuary, in Stratton Strawless.
She said they were delighted to announce that, thanks to children from Steyning Primary, who chose the appeal to receive the £2,500 they raised by taking part in the Walk4Wildlife, the appeal had not only hit that target – it had exceeded it by around £1,000.
“Not only can we build it, we can start to equip it too,” said Paula. “We hope that we can start getting things in place at the end of August.”
Paula and Hallswood are overwhelmed by the number of hedgehogs brought in needing specialist care, with 12 being brought in just last weekend.
“Liz at Hallswood overwintered 140 last year and that number is rising all the time,” said Paula. “We try to spread awareness about hedgehogs but the more people know, the more hedgehogs we have in because people know what to look for.”
She said hedgehogs were having an especially hard time because their habitat was under threat, with smaller gardens and greater use of slug pellets and other pest controls. With this in mind she is launching an awareness campaign which will teach schoolchildren what they and their families can do to help their prickly neighbours.
The campaign will be launched at Hellesdon High School on September 9 between 11am and 1pm and leaflets are being printed.
“We want to let more people know what they can do to make their gardens more hedgehog friendly and what to look out for if they see a hedgehog who needs help,” said Paula. “We will see a lot of juveniles who are not big enough to make it through the winter.”