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Garden shed is hedgehog hospital ward

Sandwell | News | Published:

A mother and daughter duo are battling to stop the country's hedgehog population dwindling – all from a shed in the back garden of their Black Country home.

Nature lover Jane Wingfield and 17-year-old Charlotte Wingfield set up their rescue centre in 2010.

They took in 133 hedgehogs at their home in Moreland Road, Great Barr, last year and now receive an average five calls a day from people who want advice.

Fiction writer Mrs Wingfield has now even penned a new romance novel to help fund their work.

"We get them with all kinds of injuries from dog attacks, fox attacks, falling into ponds, getting caught in wire and being hit by cars," she said.

The duo's rescue centre was launched after Mrs Wingfield found a sick hedgehog in her garden three years ago and it now takes in an average of three hedgehogs in a week.

"I took it to a hedgehog carer in Walsall and was watching what she did," she said. "I thought 'I could do this'."

After that she undertook a two-day course at a rescue centre in Tewksbury with daughter Charlotte, a student at Walsall College. The pair learnt about diagnosis and what drugs are needed.

Of the 133 hedgehogs they took in last year, 72 were released.

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"We do a whole range of work from giving them antibiotics, to giving them special baths to make sure the wounds do not get infected," she said.

Britain's hedgehog population has fallen by 25 per cent in the past five years. They have also appeared in a list of the top ten most endangered animals.

The work all takes place in a new 8ft by 12ft shed which was purchased last month thanks to donations from members of the public.

Mrs Wingfield, 46, has written a new novel called Wild Jealousy. Half of the proceeds raised from sales will support the work she does with hedgehogs.

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