A not-for-profit animal rescue centre is looking to raise awareness and inform local people about how they can help protect Cornwall's hedgehogs.

Porthleven Harbour Hedgie Rescue, which was set up by Tracey Sargent, is a small self funded hedgehog rescue with the aim of rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing hedgehogs back into the wild.

Having moved to Porthleven three years ago, Tracey, who completed her training in the first aid, care and rehabilitation of hedgehogs at Vale Wildlife Hospital, noticed a lot of activity in her garden, and so tasked her other half with building a hedgehog house and feeding station.

She also set up a wildlife camera and some approved hedgehog food and waited to see whether her offerings would be taken up.

Speaking to The Packet, Tracey said: "We waited for the action, and yes, oh boy, they came.

Falmouth Packet: Since November 2020, Tracey has rescued nearly 100 hedgehogs. Since November 2020, Tracey has rescued nearly 100 hedgehogs.

"We had loads of hedgehogs coming into our garden.

"We had so many come in that we've got about eight hedgehog houses in our garden now where wild hedgehogs can come, and we started getting camera footage and noticed that some were wobbly , and there was one that was lying out in the sunshine during the day.

"A hedgehog lying out in the sun during the day is a very bad sign, and so I got him to the vets straight away.

"I then thought to myself, as they're vulnerable to extinction on the red list, that I wanted to do a little bit more here and find out what else I can do to help them.

"My other half, bless his heart, said 'do you want to convert the shed into little rescue, and I said yes.

"So we had it kitted out with all the electrics and insulation fitted."

Porthleven Harbour is a not-for-profit rescue, and so Tracey receives no funding other than the donations she receives from supporters.

Tracey continued: "I do it completely in my own time and I work part-time to be able to fund this rescue, but I also get donations from people which I am truly thankful for to everyone who supports me.

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"We get newspapers, cat food, donations from my Amazon wishlist and money through my PayPal link which helps towards vets bills and medications, the support from local people, as well as up and down the country, is absolutely amazing.

"I really want to get that message across, I simply could not do this without everyone's generosity.

Since November 2020, Tracey has rescued nearly 100 hedgehogs and wants to raise awareness on how people can help look after them.

When it comes to looking out for the hedgehogs in your garden, Tracey had a few tips on ways people can help.

Falmouth Packet: Tracey and her prickly pal, George. Tracey and her prickly pal, George.

These are: "Let them in by creating a hedgehog highway, all they need is a five inch square gap.

"Keep an area of your garden overgrown so they can forage and nest.

"Leave a shallow bowl of water

"Feed them cat/kitten biscuits or wet cat/dog food.

"Please no milk, mealworms, nuts, seeds, fruits or vegetables, these can make hedgehogs very poorly.

"Keep Ponds safe by adding an escape route.

"Keep netting raised off the ground so they don't become trapped.

"Check overgrown area's before strimming or using any other garden equipment.

"Check bonfires before lighting and compost heaps before using a fork.

"Keep gardens litter free and please do not use chemicals or slug pellets.

"A feeding station or hedgehog house would be an ideal addition to the garden."

You can also spot when a hedgehog might need help by looking out for: lethargic or 'wobbly' movement; being surrounded by flies; hoglets out and about without their mother; obvious injuries; they appear trapped; being out during the daytime.

If you find a hedgehog in your garden that you think might need help, you can contact Porthleven Harbour Hedgie Rescue on: 07980 668652.