The following is from this week's Green Scene column. It is written by a representative of the Help a Hedgehog Hospital.

After the mild autumn, winter has begun to bite, and hedgehogs should be hibernating, due to the lack of natural food.

Some will still wake up in mild spells, though, so it is a good idea to keep some dry cat food handy, so that they can have a feed before going back to sleep – hibernation is a state where the metabolism, heart-rate and breathing all slow right down.

Waking up means they use up more of their fat reserves so the less they have to forage the better. Many of the 155 hogs in our care are now hibernating but those which are not still keep our carers busy with the daily cleaning and feeding.

We are not hibernating – we are preparing our summer season of events which we will be attending, and continuing our programme of talks and outreach work with schools and groups of all ages.

If you would like to book a talk for your school or group, please email or phone John on 01453 885653.

We do not make a fixed charge but donations or a fundraising event by the children to benefit the hospital would be very welcome.

Many groups also help us by collecting meaty catfood to help feed our patients while they are with us. All this helps to keep the hospital running.

We also now have a PayPal Giving page, as well as the Amazon wish list for those who like to donate items rather than money. Both can be accessed from our Facebook page, where we share news updates on the patients

We could not continue our work without the generous support of our sponsors and friends – including Tesco customers, who at the end of December donated £463 and a large amount of food.

Donations of soft toys are also very welcome – these will be used for tombolas at the summer events.

See for more information and contact details.