Green Scene column - Julien Crowther of the Help a Hedgehog Hospital talks about a visit by BBC's Countryfile team

2:00pm Monday 6th January 2014

Now it is January and still wet and windy. Still the little hogs have been coming in... cold, wet and hungry, writes Julien Crowther of the Brimscombe-based Help a Hedgehog Hospital.

The mild weather so far has meant that autumn juveniles are still being found, many of them seriously ill with internal parasites, and very underweight.

If you find one – please call our emergency number 07870 378 207 (after 9am) or 01453 823871 as time is of the essence and these little ones need specialist care.

Please do not think you can keep them in a box and all will be well – it won't.

Currently the Hospital carers have more than 150 little mouths to feed – gradually those which have put on enough weight can safely go into hibernation, but those under 600g will continue to need food and care.

As 2013 drew to a close, our pre-Christmas fundraising efforts stepped up.

Many thanks to all who gave generously at our Tesco collection, bought our calendars or visited our stall at Westonbirt Arboretum's Enchanted Forest.

Our four evenings there were very successful in spite of the downpours.

Countryfile gave us some very good publicity – and a classic moment at the end of December.

Hedgehogs don't normally bite – but that little one showed John Craven he'd had enough.

Fortunately Carole was on hand to briskly remove the hog and put him away safely.

Our website enquiry form was red hot for a few days after the programme.

We take a break from fundraising for a few weeks until the Festival of Birds at Slimbridge WWT on February 1 and 2, but talks continue throughout the year, and our carers continue to clean, feed and look after our spikey friends every day.

For more information, contact details and what to do in an emergency, please see our website: www.helpahedgehog.org

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