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Community rallies to save hoglets

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A hedgehog rescue centre in Thatcham has been inundated with offer of help following a recent appeal

A HEDGEHOG rescue centre has been inundated with offers of help from the local community after an appeal was published on Newburytoday.co.uk.

Hedgehog Bottom Rescue centre in Chapel Street has been swamped by people who want to foster a hoglet (a baby hedgehog) and by people who have brought in donations of supplies.

Following the appeal two weeks ago, the centre now has a waiting list of about 12 people who have registered an interest in becoming foster carers for the 70 abandoned hoglets.

Gill Lucraft, who runs the centre, said: "It's been superb, there has been an amazing response."

Now, staff at the centre are in the process of making sure the hoglets are healthy and are matched up with suitable people on the waiting list.

Ms Lucraft said that the centre was also now full of donations of items such as food and kitchen rolls which it had been desperately short of.

She said: "It's been brilliant.

"We have had a response way above what we were expecting, it's been fantastic.

"People have turned up with offers of all sorts of things."

The number of abandoned hoglets has dramaticallly increased this year because the severe weather has forced mothers into hibernation earlier than normal, leaving babies to fend for themselves.

Hoglets need to be 600g to survive the winter but the centre is taking in some that weigh just 150g.

The centre is also now looking for volunteers who are able to help in the centre with tasks such as cleaning and feeding.

Ms Lucraft said that any hedgehog which is outside at this time of year and weighing under 600g needs to be in a rescue centre or it will not survive.

Her advice for anyone who finds a hedgehog was to pick it up, place it into something they cannot escape from with a dish of water and take them indoors somewhere quiet.

The rescue centre can then be contacted for advice on 01635 826120 or by clicking the link to their website below.

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