'Hogspital' issues urgent warning following spike in hedgehog deaths and injuries caused by strimmers

18 March 2021, 12:57 | Updated: 18 March 2021, 13:03

Hedgehogs are at risk more than ever as Brits return to tidying up their gardens
Hedgehogs are at risk more than ever as Brits return to tidying up their gardens. Picture: Getty
Alice Dear

By Alice Dear

As Brits return to gardening, it is more important than ever to make sure you're protecting our hedgehogs.

A hedgehog rescue centre has issued an urgent warning to Brits returning to gardening as they see a spike in admissions.

Cornwall-based Hedgehog Rescue Centre, Prickles and Paws, have cautioned people taking their lawn-mowers and strimmers out to first check for hedgehogs in their gardens.

Often people do not check for the already vulnerable to extinction animals, resulting in their homes being ruined and the creates being injured or even killed.

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People are being warned to check their gardens for hedgehogs before they start gardening
People are being warned to check their gardens for hedgehogs before they start gardening. Picture: Getty

The 'Hogspital' had over 1,000 hedgehogs admitted to their centre in 2020 alone, and 65 already in 2021.

This month they have seen five hedgehogs admitted with severe injuries, of these, four had to be put down.

Strimmers and lawn-mowers can cause serious injuries to hedgehogs
Strimmers and lawn-mowers can cause serious injuries to hedgehogs. Picture: Getty

When checking out your garden before starting your work, look out for nests that look like piles of leave or woven grass.

If you spot one, use a stick to move or part the undergrowth, which will reveal any nests to the human eyes.

If a hedgehog is approached, hedgehog's natural defence is to curl up into a ball.

The animals will not run away so boarders, hedgerows and areas of dense undergrowth need to be checked carefully and thoroughly as this is where their nests will be located.

Hedgehogs often create nests in areas of dense undergrowth
Hedgehogs often create nests in areas of dense undergrowth. Picture: Getty

Animal Care and Operations Manager of Prickles and Paws, Katy said on the safety of hedgehogs: “In 2020 we admitted 1,003 hedgehogs but only admitted six with obvious strimmer injuries.

"We are very concerned that in less than a two-week period we have nearly matched the total number of strimmer injury cases from last year."

She went on: "It has been absolutely heart-breaking to have so many of these lovely animals brought into us recently with injuries that could so easily have been avoided.

"The situation is now very serious and we desperately want to raise awareness and try and prevent more cases like this from happening across the whole of the UK.

"We understand that whilst in a national lockdown, with the weather improving, people will be spending more time outdoors in their gardens and will maintain them by gardening but we would ask that people just check their areas before working to avoid harming any wildlife.”

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