Animal rescuers fundraise for busy winter season

Baby hedgehog SUS-161114-144233001
Baby hedgehog SUS-161114-144233001

East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service is holding a Christmas craft fair to raise enough money to look after baby hedgehogs over the winter season.

This winter is expected to be one of the busiest yet for the animal charity, which already has more than 80 hedgehogs in care and is expecting to look after at least 120 hedgehogs found too small to hibernate. Each hedgehog costs on average £130 to look after over the winter.

The Christmas Craft Fair will take place on December 3 (2pm-5pm) at East Dean Village Hall.

There will stalls including hand painted pebbles, glass painting, handmade candles, cakes, wildlife photography, gift hampers, hand sewn keyrings, cards, paintings, Christmas decorations, knitting, bath bombs and a various other arts and craft stalls plus a WRAS merchandise stall and one by Bird Aid. There will also be refreshments for sale.

“Last year the event was a great success,” said WRAS casualty manager Chris Riddington, who is organising the event.

“This year we need as many people to come along as possible, pick up a few extra Christmas gifts, and to help raise the much needed funds to cover the costs of what is already turning out to be a busy hedgehog winter.

“We are getting up to five hedgehogs being admitted each day, found out during the day time, most of the underweight, too small to hibernate, or suffering from injuries primarily after being caught in netting, picked up by dogs or hit by cars.”

Hedgehogs numbers are thought to be declining by five per cent each year. WRAS deals with 400-500 hedgehogs every year of which the majority of them are successfully treated and returned back into their home range helping to keep populations going.

If anyone can’t attend but want to help support WRAS they can make a donation online at www.wildlifeambulance.org.