RSPCA urges gardeners to help hungry hedgehogs as part of Hedgehog Awareness Week

The RSPCA is urging local gardeners to take urgent action for the prickly issue of crisis-hit hedgehogs.

To mark Hedgehog Awareness Week (May 1-7) the RSPCA is urging local people with gardens and outdoor spaces to go online and pledge to help encourage hedgehogs into their neighbourhoods.

It is estimated that in the past two decades, up to three-quarters of all of Britain's rural hedgehogs have been lost - with one of the biggest threats to their survival being starvation, due to the decline of bugs they eat.

Hedgehogs are brought into the care of the charity’s wildlife centres by animal rescuers or members of the public, usually after they’ve been seen out during the day due to illness, injury, and worryingly, being underweight after struggling to find food.

In repsonse, the public is being asked by the charity to provide means for hedgehogs to find plentiful food such as insects - from building a hedgehog house, popping a ramp in and out of any garden ponds, growing insect-friendly plants or building a dead-hedge habitat.

Evie Button, scientific officer at the RSPCA, said: “It’s really sad to think that our beloved nighttime garden visitors are at risk of starving in our own backyards.

"With busier roads, increased building sites and loss of hedgerows all impacting a hedgehog’s natural environment and their ability to find food, it’s essential we all do what we can not only to protect hedgehogs but also to help them thrive.”

Gardeners and animal-lovers can pledge their support as well as access information and helpful hints on the RSPCA’s website:

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