An animal lover is urging Wiltshire people to keep an eye out for hedgehogs who may have awoken from hibernation prematurely.

After a relatively mild end to December, Kim Goodridge, of Neston Hedgehog Rescue in Corsham, is warning that many of the creatures have woken up early and are now struggling to find enough food.

Mrs Goodridge, who runs a hedgehog sanctuary from her home in Elley Green, said: “There are a lot of hedgehogs about, with the warm weather we’ve been having, and even the bigger ones are starting to wake up, but there’s still no food around for them.

“Part of the problem is with people putting out slug pellets. Not only do they kill slugs and snails, but also the smaller things, like earwigs, which hedgehogs eat.

“I’m hoping people can put out something for them, like dried mealworms or some cat or dog food. Cat food is really good for them, but it’s best with chicken with jelly, not gravy.”

Anyone who finds a stray or injured hedgehog can contact Mrs Goodridge on 01225 810470.