A DEDICATED animal lover has been recognised for her conservation work with hedgehogs.
Linda Hewett, 54, from Portsmouth, received her Hedgehog Rescue Award award from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).
She decided to set up a rescue centre for injured and orphaned hedgehogs after reading about the decline in UK populations and the threat faced by habitat loss.
Linda said: ‘I founded Bert’s Hedgehog Retreat eight years ago with just four hedgehogs and by the end of the year I had 42. I’ve rescued hundreds of hedgehogs - I absolutely love it.’
The centre looks to rehabilitate animals so they can return to the wild as well as educating the next generation of conservationists.
Linda said: ‘Since we’ve set up our rescue centre, I’ve also been able to visit schools and colleges around Portsmouth to educate children about this iconic animal and how they can be better guardians for their future. This is something that’s very important to me and I hope I can encourage the next generation to take action before it’s too late.’
Linda received the accolade from Bill Oddie at the Animal Action Awards hosted at the House of Lords.
Director of IFAW, James Sawyer, said: ‘Linda’s dedication to one of Britain’s best loved animals is inspiring, as is her commitment to the local community.’