As the Autumn colours start to show, Durham Wildlife Trust often receives calls concerning juvenile hedgehogs, and sometimes the animals are brought to the Head Office at Rainton Meadows near Houghton-le-Spring.
Three people contacted Rainton Meadows over the weekend of August 31/September 1 alone, following a series of calls in the preceding week.
While the Trust aims to conserve wildlife from the Tees to the Tyne, it is not an animal rescue charity and has neither the facilities nor expertise to look after injured or sick animals. To help, it has now issued useful advice for people finding hedgehogs.
Trustee Michael Coates said: “We have received numerous phone calls in the past week alone. At the moment, the most common enquiries or deliveries are juvenile hedgehogs. These are young hedgehogs that are old enough to leave the nest but will be too small to hibernate when winter arrives.
“As the climate in the UK gets warmer and frosts start later, hogs appear to be having far more second litters than traditionally was the case. Sadly, a late autumn litter are unlikely to survive the winter as they do not have access to food long enough before they need to hibernate.
“Often seen in daylight as they are underweight and dehydrated, they get collected by members of the public who are then unsure what to do.”