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Sanctuary sees a spike in number of baby hedgehogs

A hedgehog sanctuary has seen a record number of babies arrive on its doorstep this winter.

Spike’s Hedgehog Sanctuary, in Yorkletts just outside Whitstable, is in desperate need of supplies after taking in three times the usual amount of the creatures.

Owner Mary Lane says they usually have about 20 to 25 babies come in at this time of the year but they have already taken in 66 and she is receiving more and more calls every day.

Mary Lane who runs Spikes Hedgehog Centre in Dargate Road, Yorkletts
Mary Lane who runs Spikes Hedgehog Centre in Dargate Road, Yorkletts

Mary said: “If the little ones weigh less than 500g – about the same as a bag of sugar – they can’t survive on their own, so we have to take them in and feed them through the winter.

“Our recent arrival, a baby called Bauble was brought in from Wickhambreaux, near Canterbury, after a very kind lady found him and realised he was much too small, so called the sanctuary for advice.

“He is now tucked up in the warm and munching his way through his favourite food, mealworms.”

Warm weather this autumn caused hedgehogs to mate unusually late this year, resulting in many rescue baby hedgehogs, who are not big enough to survive hibernation through
the winter.

They need a lot of care and attention, leaving the sanctuary in need of essential supplies.

Young hedgehogs at Spikes Hedgehog Centre
Young hedgehogs at Spikes Hedgehog Centre

Volunteer Angela Warne said: “We particularly need food.

“The best things for them are fish-free cat or kitten food, sunflower seed hearts, mealworms, sultanas and unsalted peanuts.

“We get through 15kg of mealworms each month alone.”

Mary added: “If you find a small hedgehog, especially out in daylight, please call us right away.

“Hedgehogs are nocturnal, so finding them in the daytime is a sure sign that something is wrong.”

Mary and Angela have asked anyone who can donate food or cleaning supplies to call them on 01227 280535.

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