A Porthleven woman is appealing for donations for her small self-funded rescue service caring and rehabilitating hedgehogs.

Tracy Sargent owns and runs Porthleven Harbour Hedgies a small, self funded, non-profit hedgehog rescue. She rescues and rehabilitates sick, injured or orphaned hedgehogs, releasing them back into the wild.

She started the service in the New Year, and has already taken in 44 hedgehogs, where she has cared for the sick, injured and orphaned hedgehogs and then will release them when they are fit and well to go. She is currently looking after some baby hedgehogs who need 24 hour care, and fed every three hours.

With the support of her local veterinary practice, and supporters, Tracy also works around her hedgehog caring service to be able to pay for food costs, medical treatments and vets bills. She completed her First Aid, Care and Rehabilitation of Hedgehogs at Vale Wildlife Hospital based in Tewkesbury.

Unfortunately her rescue shed in her back garden is too small and she has to turn away admissions as she doesn't have enough room and is now appealing for funds to be able to build an extension onto the shed, and stackable cages to provide the hedgehogs with safe and portable housing during their stay.

Tracy has already received donations from supports of a baby bottle warmer, a steamer and a steriliser. She also asked for people to donate jam jar lids so the hedgehogs can drink and eat from them. She said she has some: "wonderful supporters," who have dropped of newspapers, kitten food, hedgehog items and puppy pads.

If anyone happens to come across a hedgehog, guidelines suggest that the hedgehog must be picked up with garden gloves, kept in a box with a towel and hot water bottle, kept away from children and pets, bought inside and away from flies.

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

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.
  • 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.

To find out more about Porthleven Harbour Hedgies, find them on Facebook or Instagram. And for donations please visit: https://gofund.me/ee7776e6