Vote now to help Hertfordshire hedgehogs

Hedgehog

Hedgehog - Credit: Archant

Every autumn, wildlife and garden supplier Ark Wildlife finds itself overrun with hedgehog rescuers in need of supplies to help them care for late-born hedgehogs too small to survive the winter.

Baby hedgehog

Baby hedgehog - Credit: Archant

Ark Wildlife director Sean McMenemy said: “A lot of these carers found us, and were asking: ‘Can you help? Can you help?’ So we put our heads together.”

The answer they came up with was the Ark Hedgehog Heroes BIG Giveaway, now in its fifth year.

The giveaway allows hedgehog rescuers to be nominated and then voted for by the general public.

Ark Wildlife, based in Hitchin, donates £2,500 worth of hedgehog food, which is split between the hedgehog carers proportionally according to how many votes they have received. The carer with the most votes – and thousands have already been cast – receives vouchers and hedgehog supplies worth £500.

Baby hedgehogs

Baby hedgehogs - Credit: Archant


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Sean said: “All the carers nominated into the scheme will get free donations from us. We can promote the work they do and raise awareness with the public to keep an eye out for the small hedgehogs.

Hedgehogs born late in autumn often do not survive the winter because they have not put on enough body weight to survive hibernation. Hedgehogs weighing less than 600 grams – the guidance is that means they are smaller than an orange – are often in danger and should be reported to a hedgehog carer.

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One hedgehog hero who has been nominated in the giveaway is Rachel Yarworth from Stevenage.

Known as ‘The Hogmother’, Rachel has been rescuing hedgehogs for three years and has so far cared for 28 animals.

Sean McMenemy, director of Ark Wildlife of Hitchin, backers of the Ark Hedgehog Heroes big giveaway

Sean McMenemy, director of Ark Wildlife of Hitchin, backers of the Ark Hedgehog Heroes big giveaway - Credit: Archant

Rachel said: “The food provided by Ark would be a huge help to get my current patients through the winter as I am mainly self-funded with the occasional donation from members of the public.

“So many people have no idea what to do if they see a hedgehog out in the day, or injured ones. It not only improves the support provided to the carers, but hopefully also raises the profile of the hedgehogs themselves.” Voting closes at the end of this week, but you can still get involved at www.arkwildlife.co.uk/heroes.

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