James Heappey visits Prickles Hedgehog Charity

Cheddar MP James Heappey visited the UK’s only rescue charity specifically for hedgehogs in a bid to learn how Somerset can help reverse the decline of the species. 

Hedgehogs are suffering in Somerset due to a number of factors, including loss of habitat and being unable to manoeuvre through fences to forage for food.

Prickles Hedgehog Rescue is based in Cheddar but takes in hedgehogs from across Somerset, North Somerset, Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol and the surrounding Mendip Area.

The charity is reliant on loyal volunteers, with the demand for the service increasing even more this year as a result of the hot weather. Many hedgehogs have been suffering with dehydration as well as injuries and illnesses.

Staff at Prickles nurse the hedgehogs back to health before releasing them where they were originally found.

Mr Heappey, who is Parliamentary Private Secretary to Chris Grayling in the Department for Transport, had been alerted to the plight of hedgehogs by Mr Grayling who is the Parliamentary Species Champion for the animals.

As a result, Mr Heappey was encouraged to learn more about how to protect them and was impressed by the hard work and dedication of charity founder Jules Bishop.

He said: “Not only were the hedgehogs very cute, they were looked after incredibly well by the staff at Prickles.

“Chris Grayling has mentioned to me on a number of occasions about how important this cause is, so I was delighted to be able to learn more. I feel proud that the only charity exclusively for hedgehogs is in my constituency and I hope we can all make a few changes to halt the decline in the species across Somerset.

“Jules has done an incredible job working on the business from scratch and the care these animals get is clearly second to none.”

To sign up to be a Hedgehog Champion – and to get advice on how you can help hedgehogs, visit www.hedgehogstreet.org