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Hedgehogspital hopes for Karen and her hoglets




A Brandon woman who looks after poorly hedgehogs is hoping to raise £5,000 for a ‘Hedgehogspital’ in her back garden to cope with the rise in demand.

Karen O’Neill’s love for hedgehogs started around this time of year about 10 years ago.

She said: “My ex-partner found a baby one about two weeks before Christmas, and we couldn’t find anywhere to take it so I cared for it over the festive period.

Karen O’Neill with some of the hedgehogs she is looking afterPicture by Mecha Morton
Karen O’Neill with some of the hedgehogs she is looking afterPicture by Mecha Morton

“I got advice how to do that and it fully recovered, so after that I volunteered for a couple in Ipswich and did a Vale course about looking after hedgehogs in 2015 and it has gone nuts since then.”

The 46-year-old is currently caring for 51 hedgehogs, with the smallest only weighing 140gms, from the spare room in her house, although around 18 have had to be put in her bedroom, due to lack of space.

She said: “From October 15, we have had 79 hedgehogs with only two older than hoglets.

Donations of other items, such as dog and cat food can also be donated- for more information contact the Karen’s Hedgehogspital Facebook page
Donations of other items, such as dog and cat food can also be donated- for more information contact the Karen’s Hedgehogspital Facebook page

“Due to high demand some other hedgehog rescue places had shut their doors, but I just think if I do the same, where would they go?”

Karen’s two children, Alice, 15, and Jake, 8, are also helping after being shocked at the amount coming in and her mum, Linda Sclater, has set set up the ‘Karen’s Hedgehogspital’ Facebook page.

Karen said: “There is such a fantastic feeling on the page, without everyone coming together on there I would not be able to take on the numbers that I do, so I see it as such a great group effort- thank you everyone.”

She is now looking to build a 20ft by 11ft unit to house all the hedgehogs that come in and give Karen space to care for even more.

She said: “It would be amazing to be able to get the Hedgehogspital up and running by next summer and it would make such a difference to these little ones.”

For details, go to the Karen’s Hedgehogspital Facebook page and to donate click here.


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