'Buy a hedgehog calendar to help rescue them in wild'

Hedgehog calendars have gone on sale which are raising funds to help rescue the endangered animals in the wild.

The West midlands Hedgehog Rescue calendar for 2021. Pictured is the organisation's mascot called Rosie
The West midlands Hedgehog Rescue calendar for 2021. Pictured is the organisation's mascot called Rosie

Photographs of the small creatures have been taken at West Midlands Hedgehog Rescue based in Cheslyn Hay.

The rescue centre is run solely by Joan Lockley, 77, who has taken in around 800 hedgehogs this year.

She has a dedicated shed located in her garden, where she cares for hedgehogs found injured or sick in the wilderness, which has dubbed her "hospikel".

Ms Lockley has been caring for hedgehogs for about 20 years. She does this commendable service full time and relies on funding to continue operating.

This year has seen a rise of 100 hedgehogs brought into her care and she believes that trend will continue going into the next.

Mrs Lockley, who went to school in Sedgley, is dismayed out how under-threat hedgehogs are now in the UK.

In the 1950s, the UK had a population of 36 million hedgehogs but today that figure stands at fewer than a million.

She said: "We have taken over their habitats, building everywhere, the traffic has increased and they are getting run over.

"Farmers have pulled up around 300,000 miles of hedgerows which is where the hedgehogs live.

"Hedgehogs are now classed as endangered. I am trying to stop hedgehogs going extinct.

"A lot of people don't see hedgehogs and a lot of people don't know about them.

"I have got a lot of people phoning me up at the moment saying should I stopped feeding my hedgehogs.

"You should feed hedgehogs for 12 months of the year.

"If you ever see a hedgehog in the day, then there is a problem with that animal because hedgehogs are nocturnal."

She said there is also a problem with South African pygmy hedgehogs being brought into the country.

These differ from the native population but people are realising them into the wild, where they are dying, she said.

To buy a calendar, call Ms Lockley on 07837409533 or visit www.facebook.com/wmhoglethero. Calendars cost £10.

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