SICK AND injured hedgehogs are being given a fighting chance thanks to the dedication of a ex-veterinary nurse who runs her own ‘hoggy hospital’.
Jules Jordan set up the Hayling Island Hedgehog Rescue three years ago, when word spread that she was caring for the animals.
Now the property rental worker needs help to continue vital work to care for the hedgehogs.
Jules, who lives in Hayling, said: ‘Although I have a job, looking after hedgehogs has become a huge part of my life, as the care for them never stops.
‘People bring them to my home, my workplace, and I also work in conjunction with veterinary practices, so I get them from there too.
‘I nurse the hoggies back to health and at one time I could have from five to 25 in my hospital, which is why funds to keep it open are so important.
‘Money is needed for medication, materials, food, bedding, and tools like needles and syringes. Then there’s the cost of the electricity to keep everything running, insulation, and so much more.
‘I’ve paid for things out of my own pocket before – when you sit up all night with a sick animal that dies in your arms, you just want to do everything you can to save more.’
As well has caring for the hedgehogs herself, Jules has fosterers who look after the ones she has no room for.
She added: ‘The hedgehog population is dramatically declining, This is down to climate change, human intervention, the rise of clinical gardens, and gravel board fencing.
‘Hedgehogs could have been considered as an endangered species but the government wouldn’t allow it, because that means every site to be built on would need a survey done first.
‘Hedgehogs travel up to two miles a night for food. When you clear a brownfield site and build a housing estate, gravel board fencing is put up. This shuts the site off to hedgehogs and they can’t sustain their population in the area.
‘The mammals are losing their habitat. I urge people to open their gardens up and put hoggy boxes and water out.
‘Also, take care to notice them – I’ve seen hoggies with their noses and legs cut off by strimmers.
‘I struggle to fit being a registered hedgehog carer in with my normal life, but people’s generosity helps me. Without them and the help of other carers, none of this would be possible.’
To donate, visit chuffed.org/project/hayling-island-hedgehog-rescue.
HOW TO HELP
To find out where your nearest registered hedgehog carer is, call the British Hedgehog Preservation Society on 01584 890 801. Visit britishhedgehogs.org.uk to find out how to help hedgehogs.
A spokesperson for the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, said: ‘Shockingly, hedgehog numbers have fallen by a third in the last fifteen years – though we know the urban and suburban gardens like ours in Portsmouth are strongholds for our prickly friends.
‘You can help hedgehogs by leaving your garden a little wild so that they can forage and hibernate – and by getting together with your neighbours to create ‘hedgehog highways’.
All you have to do is cut or leave a small 15cm hole in your fence to let them roam around.’