Paula’s plea for Hellesdon hog-watchers

Just Regional
Dec 7, 2015 3 mins read

A Hellesdon wildlife enthusiast is championing local hedgehogs and asking residents to help ensure these endearing little creatures are enjoyed here for years to come.

As well as rehabilitating a number of underweight hedgehogs over the winter, Paula Pithers is putting together a survey of hedgehog sightings in the area and wants people to send her details of any they see – location, date, time of day and behaviour description.

Hedgehogs tend to hibernate between November and mid-March, so any seen now are likely to be unwell. They also need to be 600g or they won’t survive hibernation.

“The hedgehog centres in this area are few and far between now, with those that are still running inundated with little hogs – but it’s very hard to turn them away,” explained Paula, adding that nearly all those which come in have roundworm, lungworm or fluke, and won’t make it without treatment.

At the moment, Paula is taking the hedgehogs she finds to a rescue centre near Bungay for treatment, before returning to her for rehabilitation over the winter, with a view to hopefully releasing them where they were found in the spring.

Hopefully there won’t be too many sightings until next March when they start to emerge, but there is still plenty people can do over the winter to help, such as getting your garden ready for those hungry hogs by making sure there are holes in your fence to create hedgehog highways.

Hedgehogs can sometimes be seen out and about in winter, when the weather has been mild, so you can also have some food handy, such as minced meat, tinned dog or cat food (not fish-based), dried mealworms, or even scrambled eggs. Hedgehogs like milk but it may give them diarrhoea, so fresh water is best.

It’s also essential to check for hibernating hedgehogs before moving piles of logs, removing heaps of leaves, or anything else that they may be resting in.

As well as contacting Paula with details of your sightings, please do get in touch if you can provide any hedgehog supplies, including meat-based cat or dog food, white towels, kitchen roll, single-storey hamster/rabbit/guinea pig cages, heat mats, plastic storage boxes, feeding bowls and hot water bottles.

Paula will also have a table selling bric-a-brac at the nature day at Taverham Mill on Saturday, December 12 to raise funds and collect donations.

Paula can be contacted on 01603 415848 or 07881 247235, by email ninjapaula@hotmail.co.uk, or visit the hogwatchers page on her website at www.bugsbirdsandbeasts.co.uk.

JH hedgehog pic

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