A RESCUE centre set up to help support hedgehogs in the area has had an influx of orphaned animals due to the hot weather.

Pickering Hedgehog Rescue was set up earlier this year to help protect the dwindling number of hedgehogs.

Deryn Hagemann, who set up the group, said: “With the hot weather, Pickering Hedgehog Rescue has had an influx of babies needing specialist feeding and care.

“There are currently 22 hoglets, 19 of them orphans and six adults with the rescue centre.

“Many have suffered from dehydration and fly strike, a devastating combination for these tiny creatures.”

Deryn said the the hoglets have come in from a variety of places, with the first triplets arriving after their mother was knocked and killed on the road.

“They needed five hours of intensive and back-breaking cleaning to remove all the fly eggs which covered them,” she said.

“It’s vital that any hedgehog found out in the open is not just left, if they are out in the daytime and not moving quickly they are in distress of some kind.

“They are so vulnerable especially in the current heat and can die so quickly if left.

“Anyone who needs advice can telephone me at the rescue centre or take them straight to the nearest vet and get them to contact the rescue.”

Deryn added: “Thankfully the hoglets are all thriving.

“On arrival they are fed puppy formula milk and puppy mousse. Being lactose intolerant, it is important to get the correct food into them as soon as possible.

“As they gain weight they move on to kitten kibbles and meaty kitten food in jelly.”

The rescue held a pop-up event at Daisy Garden Centre, offering help and advice for anyone interested in helping the hedgehog.

Deryn said: “From donations and sales of their trademark pebbles, the event raised enough to allow the rescue to buy flooring for the hedgehog building.

“We are so grateful to all those who came along to see and support us, especially Daisy Garden Centre and Calverts Carpets, for making these improvements possible.

“The best thing we can do to help during the summer is simply providing some shallow dishes of water – that will help all kinds of wildlife, not just hedgehogs.”

Anyone wanting to phone Pickering Hedgehog Rescue can either phone 07717 013723 after 5pm (unless it is urgent) or contact them via on Facebook.