A Colgate wildlife rescuer is urging gardeners to look out for hedgehogs when cutting their grass this summer following an influx of casualties.
In the past two weeks, Rangers Lodge Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre have had to euthanise around seven hedgehogs due to injuries sustained from a strimmer and now hope members of the public will take steps to prevent further incidents.
“We’ve had so many come in with really nasty injuries,” explained Jane Burrows who founded the rescue six years ago. “We have a very good vets called Crossways that do all our work free of charge and if they need to they will do surgery on the hedgehogs.
“But what we want to do is make people aware if they get their strimmer out to just go round and have a check that there aren’t any hedgehogs hiding in the long grass or something.”
If any hedgehogs that come through the doors at Rangers Lodge do survive, they are then given the necessary treatment - which may include leg amputation - before Jane and her team of volunteers rehabilitate the animals.
The 51-year-old continued: “We can only amputate a rear leg of a hedgehog. They can live with one back leg but they can’t live without both their front legs.
“Once they’re rehabilitated we can then hopefully release them back to where they came from.”
Aside from hedgehogs, the rescue, which is based from Jane’s private home in Forest Road, also take in other wildlife including foxes, deer, owls, crows, jackdaws and buzzards.
“We take in more or less anything as long as it’s not too big because we don’t really have the facilities at the moment,” she added. “We have a very good handy man, or facilities manager as he likes to be known, called Steve who is slowly building me pens and things like that.
“At the moment it’s baby season and we have lots of baby birds,” she added.
The rescue has also recently taken in seven baby shrews, one of which has since died, after they were uncovered when a gardener moved a shed.
With the increase in numbers, Jane and her team are now also appealing for more volunteers to help them with tasks ranging from cleaning to feeding the animals.
“It’s basically funded out of our own pockets,” revealed Jane.“So we’re also quite happy to take in cat food and dog food, wet and dry, biscuits and tinned, Ariel liquid, because every hedgehog has a towel that has to be washed and washing up liquid for the bowls that have to be washed.”
For more information visit www. rangerslodgewildlifecentre.webs.com or call 07747 038 312.
Pictures by Steve Cobb.