Old Leake prepares for hedgehog influx

EXPANSION work at Old Leake’s hedgehog rescue centre is set to create winter homes for more than 100 of the prickly creatures.

Caddington Hedgehogs is renovating an old barn at the site in Pode Lane to house an influx of the animals expected in autumn.

Centre owner Angela Smith said: “Asides from the autumn numbers we are also expecting many babies needing rescue help soon, so we are ploughing ahead with plans to finish the ‘hog barn’.

“Once completed we will be able to house an extra 80 hedgehogs over the winter months.”

The centre currently has indoor room for around 30 hedgehogs with an outdoors area for disabled ones which can never return to the wild.

Hedgehogs brought to the centre are found either injured or unwell, with many nursed back to health by Angela herself. Others with more serious injuries are treated by a vet.

“Roof repairs have already been made to the barn and we are now fundraising to pay for £600 to install electrics,” said Angela. “We only have £410 left to raise thanks to a £190 donation from Carrington Wednesday Auctions.”

All 40-plus hogs cared for over the winter have since been released back into the wild – including ‘Stumpy’ who was missing part of one foot who has gone to a garden in Leverton.

Permanent residents Lucy, who is blind, and Hanna who has a neurological condition, are currently enjoying the walled hog garden which Standard readers helped to fund and build last year.

Offering advice to anyone who finds a hedgehog in distress, Angela said: “Hogs are quiet, shy creatures and should only come out at night. Any hog out during daylight hours is classed as being in distress and should be placed in a high-sided bucket with an old teatowel draped over it to keep it calm and keep the flies off it. A telephone call to us to arrange a convenient time to bring it over to the centre will ensure it gets the best chance for recovery.”

l If you can help Caddington Hedgehogs call 01205 872135.