THE elderly owner of the Hedgehog Rescue Centre near Corsham has appealed for someone to take over the running of the rescue hospital.

Hedgehog rescuer, 81-year-old Kim Goodridge, has run the centre at Neston for the past 14 years but is now appealing for someone to take it on.

“I’m getting tired and I’m getting older,” said Kim, of Ashwood Road, Rudloe. “It’s a lot to run when I’m on my own.

“This will be the last year that I’m able to do it. There is a lot to do for just one person.

“I’m still looking for someone to take over the Hedgehog Rescue Centre.

“I have all the equipment to pass on - I just need someone to take over the responsibility for looking after the rescued hedgehogs.”

Mrs Goodridge currently has seven hedgehogs at the rescue centre, and says there’s no other centres nearby for them to go as they have closed because of the age or illness of the people who ran them

Mrs Goodridge said: “I have 11 large double hutches if someone wishes to take them on, and am willing to give free help and advice."

She has run the Wiltshire Hedgehog Rescue Centre at Neston since 2005 and says that many hedgehogs could die if her work is not continued.

The urban hedgehog population numbers have continued to plummet because of changes in their environment.

As of 2018, hedgehog numbers stood at just one million – a considerably lower figure than the 30 million recorded in the 1950s.

Hedgehogs generally give birth in June and July and they have an average litter size of four or five young. However, they usually only wean two or three successfully. The mother is liable to desert young hoglets if she cannot find enough food to feed them all.

“It’s now the survival of the fittest”, Mrs Goodridge said. “Mothers will abandon the young they think will not survive.”

Anyone wishing to take on the running of the Hedgehog Rescue Centre should contact Mrs Goodridge on 01225 810470.