It’s a prickly business but everything ‘quill’ be alright

United Utilities Network Asset Controller Martin Walker found himself in a prickly situation when he heard about hedgehogs getting stuck around a small pumping station.

The wastewater pumping station located close to The Belfry in Lytham St Annes was proving to be irresistible for hedgehogs in the area, and as the equipment has a 1.2m deep channel around it they were getting stuck.

Hedgehog rescue.jpgFortunately local hedgehog fosterer Gillian McNamara lives close by and with help from her husband, local gardeners and neighbours managed to rescue them and nurse them back to health. Gillian also alerted United Utilities and Martin was sent on a mission to come up with a solution to stop any more curious hedgehogs from getting too close.

Martin explained: “As soon as we heard that hedgehogs had found their way in to the compound we knew we had to take action. I did some research and came up with a solution using sturdy chicken wire which should keep our prickly friends out.”

To thank Martin for his efforts Gillian, who works with Hedgehog Rescue Blackpool, took Henry the hedgehog along to meet him. She said: “We are lucky in this area as we seem to have quite a thriving hedgehog population. They are very curious creatures and they will climb and dig and they often get into difficulty. Once they get stuck, it doesn’t take long for them to get dehydrated and poorly.

“Fortunately the three hedgehogs that did get in there were all rescued and hopefully now Martin’s defences will keep any curious hedgehogs away.”

The Hedgehog Rescue Blackpool is having its busiest year ever and is currently caring for around 100 orphaned or injured hedgehogs. The charity offers advice for anyone finding a trapped, sick or injured hedgehog on its website

They also offer advice about how to support hedgehogs visiting your garden. Gillian said: “Like so much of our wildlife, hedgehogs are under threat but there are steps you can take to support them.

“Having a small hole or gap in your fence so they can wander between gardens is a big help, you can also leave food and water out for them, meat, not fish flavoured cat food is great, never leave milk and bread. If you have got some space they really appreciate a hedgehog house and there’s lot of advice online for that.”