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‘I had 42 hedgehogs in my utility room’ - calls for more support for hedgehog rescuers in Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 15:15 24 March 2020 | UPDATED: 15:15 24 March 2020

Hedgehogs which have been rescued in Norfolk. Photo: Tracy Jenkins

Hedgehogs which have been rescued in Norfolk. Photo: Tracy Jenkins

Tracy Jenkins

When animal lover Tracy Jenkins decided she wanted to become a hedgehog rescuer in 2018 she didn’t realise how much it would take over her life.

Tracy Jenkins is a hedgehog rescuer from Long Stratton. Photo: Tracy JenkinsTracy Jenkins is a hedgehog rescuer from Long Stratton. Photo: Tracy Jenkins

At her busiest point, the 57-year-old from Long Stratton cared for 42 hedgehogs in her utility room.

But now she has called for more support for rescuers in Norfolk who are “struggling” to meet the demand for their services as they fight to save the endangered species.

Ms Jenkins said: “It was a horrendous year for them last year and I think it will carry on now because of the extreme weather and climate all through the summer. They are vulnerable to so many dangers.

“Every rescue in the area was full, even the RSPCA, we were all just doing what we could.

Hedgehogs which have been rescued in Norfolk. Photo: Tracy JenkinsHedgehogs which have been rescued in Norfolk. Photo: Tracy Jenkins

“In my utility room I had 42 hedgehogs. It’s a really busy time, really hard work, really stressful some of the things you see are horrendous. I have had nightmares.”

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As well as giving up their free time, hedgehog rescuers are usually self-funded.

HodmeDod’s Hedgehog Support, which was set up in Norfolk in 2016, has been raising money to buy equipment and food to support rescuers like Tracy, so they can carry on their work.

Hedgehogs which have been rescued in Norfolk. Photo: Tracy JenkinsHedgehogs which have been rescued in Norfolk. Photo: Tracy Jenkins

And now a dedicated Hedgehog helpline, called Charlie’s Helpline for Hedgehogs, has been put in place to make sure anyone who finds one, injured or in need of TLC, can be then taken to a rescuer in their local area.

Paula Pithers, Hodmedod’s founder, said: “I did rescue myself and found how demanding it was. I know how much these little rescuers are struggling it’s a case of trying to help them out in any way we can.”

Ms Jenkins added: “The idea is if you find a hedgehog in Norfolk you can phone the help line and they can find your nearest first aider and rescuer. That person will then go and pick up the hedgehog and take it to the rescuer.

“It’s brilliant because it means we don’t have to do as much, and it relieves some of the pressure we are under.”

Hedgehogs which have been rescued in Norfolk. Photo: Tracy JenkinsHedgehogs which have been rescued in Norfolk. Photo: Tracy Jenkins

If you find a hedgehog in need visit Hodmedod’s onlien sit here, https://hodmedods.org.uk/, where the helpline number is available.

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