AN ANIMAL rescue centre is fundraising for a hedgehog hospital, after an influx of the spiky critters came into its care.

Oxfordshire Wildlife Rescue has launched a campaign to raise £5,000 for the facility.

Hedgehog intake at the centre, in Didcot, has soared to 10-15 per day, and the total count currently stands at about 240.

A fundraising page for the cause said: "Every year we take in over 300-400 sick, injured and orphaned hedgehogs.

"We strive to give the best care and treatment to these animals - we have the very best knowledge and help from local and countrywide specialists.

"However, we need this new hospital to cater for the increase of take-ins of hedgehogs - to improve accommodation and treatment, we need this new facility."

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A post on the centre's Facebook page added: "Please help us to help them - clearly these hedgehogs are in trouble and if we can double our efforts here, we can help preserve these beautiful creatures."

It is hoped the new hedgehog hospital will be able to accommodate a further 150 hedgehogs and house specialist equipment.

Luke Waclawek founded the centre with his wife, and it has grown from their home from the very first time they took in a sick pigeon.

He said: "I'm really grateful for everyone's contributions so far. I hope we'll be able to get this up and running."

So far this year, the number of animals their team has taken in is almost 1,200.

Recent additions to the rescue centre include three hoglets (baby hedgehogs), found in a pile of garden waste that was destined for the bonfire.

Almost £1,000 has been raised so far - visit the fundraising page to donate.