Harborough district wildlife rescue centre puts out urgent appeal for hedgehog food and newspapers

They are looking after over 150 hedgehogs at the moment - and that number is expected to top 200 over the next few weeks

Sunday, 21st November 2021, 1:14 pm
Leicestershire Wildlife Hospital

An outstanding Harborough district wildlife rescue centre is today putting out an urgent appeal for hedgehog food and newspapers.

Staff at Leicestershire Wildlife Hospital on Fleckney Road, Kibworth Beauchamp, are busy looking after over 150 lively hedgehogs at the moment.

They expect that figure to top 200 over the next few weeks – and they ended up taking in over 300 of the cute creatures two winters ago.

Leicestershire Wildlife Hospital

Now team leader Amy Ducker is calling on people to take in food along with newspapers as they gear up to deal with many more new prickly arrivals.

“We are fast heading towards our busiest time of the year.

“And we’ve got to be ready for it,” Amy told the Harborough Mail.

“We have at least 150 sweet little hedgehogs here now and more are being brought in by people from all over the region all the time.

Amy Ducker (team leader) with one of the many hedgehogs at the centre. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

“They are mostly young juveniles – and will stay here with us until the spring.

“Hedgehogs will often breed in the autumn if they miss out in the spring.

“But the thing is that the mums then often go into hibernation leaving the little ones to fend for themselves.

Youngsters sometimes try to hibernate themselves but can get into trouble if they wake up and nip out through the day looking for food,” said Amy, who leads a team of four at the impressive sprawling Birds Barn complex.

Amy Ducker (team leader) with Lynn Bywater (volunteer) holding mallard goslings. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

“It’s critical that we all do all we can to rescue and save these beautiful loveable animals because their numbers have been slashed in the UK over the last few years.

“They seem to be doing OK in urban areas as people look after them – but are struggling out in the countryside.

“We are getting through mountains of food feeding all of our hogs.

“At the moment we’re going through about 40 tins of loaf dog food a day along with several bags of biscuits!

Volunteer Millie Clarke preparing the hedgehog food. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

“And that demand for food will only continue to rocket as we take in more hedgehogs as the winter starts to bite,” stressed Amy.

“So we are appealing for people to donate what ever loaf dog food they can to us.”

She’s urging people to make a purchase from the wildlife hospital’s Amazon wish list here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/hz/wishlist/ls/2587OKBZNMXBK

“Our delivery address is 12 Rookery Close, Kibworth, LE8 0SD.

“You can also buy an Amazon gift card for us: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B006AUF6X0 to email address [email protected]

“Our lifelong supporters, animal lovers and people across Harborough are responding really well,” said Amy, who’s backed up by seven or eight selfless volunteers every day.

Volunteer Lynn Bywater with a barn owl was was hit by a car. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

“They are truly amazing.

“We’d like to say an enormous thank you to everyone who’s come forward to help us.

“Running our unique wildlife hospital is a massive team effort and we couldn’t do it without you – so thanks a million.

“We are also asking people to bring us newspapers as well.

“We use two papers for each hog every day.

“And we use them for other animals and birds here too,” said Amy, who added they are also currently caring for barn owls, swans and “lots of pigeons”.

The 37-year-old wildlife hospital has also raised almost £2,000 after launching a fundraising campaign following the cruel theft of a badger cub in July.

“We have done so well and people have been very kind donating the money.

“We’ve been able to put up new CCTV cameras and will be erecting new fencing to make our site more secure,” said Amy.

“Sadly we haven’t heard any more about the poor badger cub who was stolen but the police are still investigating the crime.

“But we haven’t had any more trouble here since and we are determined to step up security to make sure that all of our animals are totally safe.”

You can check out the wildlife centre’s Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/leicestershire.wildlife.hospital/And you can donate to their stolen badger cub appeal here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/stolen-badger-cub-repair-fund

Team leader Amy Duckerwith with a swan who landed heavily in a pond. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER