LOCKDOWN has proved particularly challenging for some of the country’s most-loved wildlife.

After closing its doors to the public in March, Pickering Hedgehog Rescue has continued to offer a safe haven for Ryedale’s hedgehogs.

British hedgehogs are listed as vulnerable to extinction by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List.

However, despite the challenges Pickering Hedgehog Rescue founder Deryn Hagemann and her family have cared for an endless stream of sick, injured and orphaned hedgehogs and hoglets.

Volunteer Louise Mudd said: “So far, Deryn has hand-reared over a dozen hoglets, often having to give two-hourly feeds by herself.

“On a positive note there have been 80 successful releases back into the wild, leaving over 30 in the centre receiving care and treatment and many more with foster carers.

“Four little hoglets were brought into the centre after local lad Reece Johnson spotted one out alone in the heat of the day. Thanks to his quick action a total of four babies were gathered up and Reece has been able to help release two already back into a supported garden.”

Louise added: “The fundraising team have been amazing and managed to continue their efforts, albeit in a socially-distanced way.

“With all our planned events having to be postponed, the rescue is battling to pay for vet bills, running costs, as well as purchase much-needed equipment.

“We are hoping as soon as life returns to normal we can finally prepare to welcome all our supporters to see what their invaluable support and donations has made possible. Let’s hope it’s not too much longer.”

For information, find Pickering Hedgehog Rescue on Facebook.