A HEDGEHOG rescue centre is raising money to build a new hospital.

More than 70 vulnerable hedgehogs have been rescued, rehabilitated, and released by hedgehog rescue centre Hogs Haven in Wallingford since it opened last year.

Louise Deakin runs the rescue centre from her house in Wallingford and says she has always been obsessed with the animals and after completing a wildlife hospital course on rescue and rehabilitation she opened Hogs Haven.

She takes Hedgehogs from a large area including all the local villages and has recently had hogs from Newbury, Wantage, Oxford and Reading and releases them back into their natural habitat when they are rehabilitated.

Recently Ms Deakin realised that there was no room for more vulnerable hedgehogs and bought six more hutches.

However, to keep helping the vulnerable animals Hogs Haven needs a new outside hospital.

The rescue centre is raising funds to build a 12ft wooden building, with insulation and electrics, purpose built to be able to offer our little prickly friends a place to recover and be treated.

Ms Deakin founded and runs the rescue centre full-time by herself and once the hospital is built, she is hoping to take on volunteers and train people up so she can take care of more hedgehogs.

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Ms Deakin said: “Hedgehogs are now officially classified as vulnerable to extinction and it would just be heart breaking to see them disappear from our lovely countryside.

“We will be carrying out fundraising events too, in whatever form that we can, but please support our hedgehogs and donate what you can.”

She added: “And you could also help at home by providing a wooden hedgehog house for your garden and supporting them with some cat food and water, but definitely not milk and bread as hedgehogs are lactose intolerant.”

The rescue centre aims to raise £3,000 to build the hospital and it has already raised more than £2,000.

This month Hogs Haven has been busy helping hedgehogs which are not well enough to hibernate and some with parasites.

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Ms Deakin said: “If there is one out during the day it needs to go to a rescue centre as soon as possible.

"Mating season is over, so if a hedgehog is out during the day in all likelihood it is poorly and needs help.

She added: "Please do not pick them up and keep them yourself, thinking it is very easy to put them in a cage and feed and water them, because it is not, and they will die.”

To help Hogs Haven build a new Wallingford hedgehog hospital donate money via its Just Giving page.